Of course, there’s the age-old rule of supply and demand, and with Vancouver rental availability rates stuck at 0.6%, among the lowest in Canada, it’s no surprise rents are still skyrocketing.
So why is Vancouver’s long-term rental stock so low? The City of Vancouver believes it may be at least in part down to the number of empty homes sitting unoccupied.
- Vancouver empty homes tax planned for 2017
- 10,800 homes remain empty in Vancouver: City Hall
- Renting is as out of reach as owning for many in Vancouver now: report
In a bid to get more homes back into the rental market, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has announced a proposed tax on empty homes may be implemented in 2017.
The new tax, which would only apply to rarely used properties in the City of Vancouver, could be between 0.5% and 2% of the assessed property value.
“It is a crisis… It’s increasingly difficult to stay here,” said Robertson. “We expect this [tax] to be an important tool to start the shift to get rental housing to people who desperately need it.”
A full report outlining possible scenarios for the tax is set to go to Council next week. If approved, there will then be a consultation process with homeowners.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll one day be able to find an apartment that doesn’t break the bank. Maybe.