The province released its updated speculation and vacancy tax on Monday and included is a breakdown of the real estate ownership for Oak Bay from 2019.
The speculation and vacancy tax (SVT) recovered $693,000 from Oak Bay, part of a total $6.5 million in tax revenue from residential property owners (properties with livable units on them) in the Capital Regional District. B.C. netted $88 million for the year.
The Ministry of Finance report shows 6,226 of the 6,268 residential properties in Oak Bay were exempt in 2019. That means the $693,000 was paid on 42 properties, an average of $16,500 per Oak Bay speculation and vacancy tax assessment. That’s up from the 2018 total of $477,000.
Since the SVT was introduced in 2018 its revenue has been put towards funding housing, shelter or rental initiatives in the five regional districts where the tax applies, Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Central Okanagan, Nanaimo and the Capital Region. In that time the vacancy rates have increased by seven per cent.
The 42 non-exempt Oak Bay properties have a combined 74 owners (as some have multiple owners). Of those owners that qualified for the SVT in 2019, 34 were from B.C., 13 were out of province, 14 were out of country, eight received satellite family status and five were other situations.
Foreign owners paid $235,000 of Oak Bay’s spec tax, B.C. residents paid $99,000, satellite families paid $162,000, other Canadians paid $85,000, while $111,000 was categorized as “other residential,” (housing types which do not fit into the categories, such as a duplex).
(A satellite family is a couple of which one or both live in the SVT area but work outside the country and more than 50 per cent of their combined household income is declared in another country.)
Our speculation tax is working. 11,000 empty condos have become homes for people, in just one year. And the number keeps rising. Andrew Wilkinson wants to cancel the spec tax and reverse the progress we've made. That's a risk people can't afford, especially now. #BCelxn2020— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) September 26, 2020
The leading causes for exemptions among Oak Bay property owners (8,624 use the property as their principal residence and 1,156 are tenanted), were 127 recently acquired homes, 100 under construction or renovation, 88 with a rental restriction, 56 due to the recent death of an owner, 31 had no residence on the property, nine were recent cases of separation or divorce, seven were residential care facilities, and 31 were exempt for a variety of other reasons.
In total, 906 properties in the Capital Regional District were assessed the SVT for 2019. Data shows 327 were detached homes, 40 were townhouses, 513 were condos, and 26 were another variation. Foreign ownership made up 44 of the 110 detached homes and 59 of the condos, whereas 566 of the detached home and condo owners were from B.C. or Canada and 85 more were designated as “satellite families,” wherein one of the partners works in a separate community.