A report earlier this year announced Vancouver as the highest-performing luxury real estate market in the world right now!
Thanks to website 604Now and their weekly feature of luxury real estate for sale in Vancouver, anyone can get a glimpse of the lavish properties - the ultimate in Canadian HousePorn - that are attracting a frenzy of foreign and domestic attention right now.
Our latest obsession is a 2/3 acre fully-landscaped property in Greater Vancouver's prestigious West Point Grey 'hood, and the dreamy Howard Airey-designed home that crowns it!
Here are the specs and a few of the amenities that elevate this home to luxury status:
• 9,693 square feet
• 4 bedroom suites & 6 bathrooms
• Master suite with view deck and stone fireplace
• Nanny quarters
• Children games room/ media room
• Outdoor pool are with water fountain, fire pit
• Sauna/steam room
• 6 car garage
*Photos courtesy of 604Now.com and Ken Wyder
Can you imagine what the grounds must look like in the height of summer? Sublime!
Want to see more? Click HERE to connect to the 604 Cribs category!
Admiring this luxury dwell, we can't help but wonder what effect British Columbia's brand new tax on foreign ownership will have on Vancouver's position as the world's hottest luxury property market. As part of an emergency session this week, the Liberal provincial government legislated a new 15% property transfer tax on foreign entities who purchase property in the Metro Vancouver area. The aim of the tax is to curb the influx of foreign investment - particularly from Mainland China - which has contributed to Vancouver's sky-rocketing property values.
The immediate impact is clear: developers and foreign investors are scrambling to close transactions before the new tax comes into effect on August 2nd. But even Finance Minister Mike de Jong is uncertain of the law's long-term effects: “I also want to be forthright about acknowledging that we don’t have an absolutely ironclad notion or forecast or prediction of what the impact of this is going to be.” -Vancouver Sun
The law was written in such a way that it also allows the government to change the foreign tax to between 10 and 20 per cent at will, expand its reach to properties beyond the borders of Metro Vancouver, and more easily implement a future "vacancy tax" on the numerable 'holding' properties left uninhabited by non-residents after purchase.
While this is the biggest B.C. tax change since the Harmonized Sales Tax in 2009 - and the first of its kind in Canada directly aimed at taxing foreign ownership - the idea is not unprecedented. In fact, the government bodies regulating and monitoring the foreign property transfer tax can look to other cities and countries for guidance. Hong Kong and Singapore have had a similar tax in place for years, while Australia, Denmark, and Switzerland are just a few of the countries that have laws regulating or prohibiting the purchase of property by non-residents.
So, how will these tax funds be spent? The government has been tight-lipped, except to say that a fund from the proceeds will be created to encourage affordable housing, an increase in rental supply, support for first-time buyers and low-income earners, and pay for a proposed rapid transit system to suburban Surrey and along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor.
If this foreign property transfer tax proves successful, will it encourage other provinces to follow suit? And will it cool the Vancouver housing market? All eyes are watching the governments direct attempt to influence the Vancouver property market.
If you're a lover of real estate, consider checking out my Toronto blog at Urbaneer.com for more real estate insight and information, as well as valuable content on housing, culture and design!
~ Steven Fudge, the purveyor of houseporn.ca and proprietor of urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.