Tag Archives: Yaletown

The New Foreign Buyer Tax – Unintended Consequences?

Sep
23
2016

vancouver-false-creek-mountains

 

Controversy continues to surround the August 2 introduction of a tax that increases the cost to foreign nationals buying real estate in the Lower Mainland of BC.

Most recently is the launch of a class-action lawsuit based on numerous grounds including the breach of 32 international treaties. If (as under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA) Canada, the United States and Mexico have agreed for the free movement of certain professionals and skilled workers between their respective countries, the question being raised is how legislation can treat these workers differently than citizens of the country in which they are working.

A class action is a long and protracted process but is usually launched after a rigorous legal review as law firms leading a class-action suit usually only make money if the suit is successful. And, being lawyers, they tend to be a bit risk-averse. So although, I am not a litigation lawyer, I suspect there are some compelling arguments as to the legality of the tax.

But aside from this, what are the issues raised by the new tax?

The Big Problem

First and foremost was the failure to grandfather existing contracts. The concept of “grandfathering” means that existing contracts would not have been affected by the tax; only ones entered into after the announcement. The polls clearly indicate that most people support a tax on foreign buyers as there is consensus that foreign buyers represent one of a multitude of factors that impact the cost of real estate.

The problem with polls is they often don’t delve deeply into the issue. The media has provided information on a multitude of circumstances where an individual, couple or family are being significantly impacted. As a result there is a growing recognition that the failure to grandfather is patently unfair and many have commented that it is just not the way Canadians should treat people. The tax does, however, raise a bunch of money quickly to back government announcements about funding affordable housing initiatives.

And who are these “people” who are being impacted? There certainly are foreign buyers who want to just park their money in a safe haven – and, as we all know, many of these are from China and their situation tends to dominate our local media.

The Other Key Flaw

But there is another group affected, and this group raises what I believe is the second major flaw in the legislation. British Columbia reaches out to the world to encourage professional and skilled workers to come to the Lower Mainland. They may come from anywhere in the world, including China. These are cancer researchers, educators, computer programmers, consultants and a myriad of other individuals that we are asking to come here and help build centers of excellence or manage and work on projects where we simply do not have sufficiently trained individuals.

Why would we on the one hand ask them to come here and on the other hand penalize them? If they are paying taxes, engaged in our communities and raising their families surely they should be exempted from the tax. Perhaps the simple solution is to exempt those with work permits for at least two years.

As with all things, this too shall pass. It is just unfortunate that the government failed to empathize with those who had existing contracts. Finding an extra $150,000 where a buyer had already entered into a contract is a challenge. Most buyers usually stretch to the limit of their financial resources. So stay tuned for even more sad stories where buyers are sued for failing to complete their purchases.

Source – http://www.rew.ca

Engel&Völkers, Vancouver

Dec
3
2015

I am very happy to announce that as and from Dec 1st 2015, the Carros Group will be moving affiliations from Sotheby’s to Engel & Völkers. I have decided to stay with the office and location that provides me with the best location, the most energy and momentum. This will help me to continue to establish my brand in order to help my clients, to the best of my ability.

E&V Vancouver

My new Promotional Video

Oct
27
2015

One of the reasons that I became a Realtor is because I love meeting and helping people with what will probably be the biggest transaction of their lives – buying or selling their home. Your listing will leverage my managed social media promotion, where I rank as the #1 Metro Vancouver Realtor for social media interaction and usually within the top 10 for Canada wide Realtors – as well as being accessible and promoted via this website, my brokerage website, MLS public sites and my location specific or building specific websites.

I look forward to sharing a cup of coffee with you, a chat about your property and to working with you soon!

Sold in the Gallery building on Richards

Mar
6
2015

Sold in the GalleryCongratulations to my buyers at the Gallery building – I am sure that your daughter will be very happy! Click here for details

THIS HAS TO BE THE SWEETEST SUITE IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA. PERFECT FOR SINGLE PERSON WORKING IN THE AREA OR A STUDENT. THIS ONE BEDROOM CONSISTS OF BEDROOM, LIVING SPACE, KITCHEN WITH STAINLESS APPLIANCES, GAS RANGE, INSUITE LAUNDRY AND BATHROOM WITH NEW COUNTER AND A LARGE SOAKER TUB. THERE IS ALSO A DEN THAT WOULD WORK AS A STUDY ROOM OR DINING ROOM OR A FABULOUS WALK IN CLOSET! THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS. LARGE STORAGE DOWN. GREAT BUILDING WITH PARTY ROOM, CONFERENCE ROOM AND LARGE EXERCISE AREA.

Just Sold at the Grace Residences, Yaletown.

Dec
3
2014

 

Delighted for my clients, both sellers and buyers!

“We listed our condo in the Grace in Yaletown with Harry Kramm for a number of reasons. Firstly, we wanted a realtor who would represent the value of living in Yaletown & Harry lives in the neighbourhood. Secondly, we were confident Harry would be able to truly present our home utilizing his skills and abilities to create a marketing plan and build a website that was second to none. Thirdly, we wanted our real estate agent to work diligently on our behalf, be available and a good communicator. Harry was successful on all fronts. We are completely satisfied with his ‘work ethic’ on our behalf, and we are pleased to be able to highly recommend Harry.”

Paul & Catherine, Furry Creek, B.C.

Sold