West End and Shaughnessy have highest percentage of empty homes: city
But Downtown — which includes Yaletown and Coal Harbour — has the highest number of empty homes at 2,244, according to new data
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The West End and Shaughnessy have the highest vacancy rates in Vancouver, according to the city’s latest data gathered during the empty homes tax declaration.
Eight per cent of homes in the West End and Shaughnessy are empty or under-used, while Downtown — which includes Yaletown and Coal Harbour — has the highest number of empty homes at 2,244. Seven per cent of Downtown homes are empty or under-utilized.
Vancouver was the first Canadian city to adopt an empty homes tax as a way to tackle speculation in the city’s overheated real estate market and ease the city’s extremely tight rental market. City officials say that 98 per cent of homeowners have now filed the required documents that declare whether or not their residential property is being lived in.
Homeowners who do not live in their properties for more than six months of the year must pay a one per cent tax on the assessed value of the home, but can avoid paying the tax by renting out their property. Homeowners had until Feb. 2 to submit a declaration stating whether or not their property is occupied for more than six months of the year.
According to the data collected by the city, empty homes skew towards areas of the city that have seen high-density condo development, steeply rising home prices, or both. Westside neighbourhoods, where empty homes are visibly common and houses have risen into the multi-millions, have higher numbers and higher percentages of empty homes than Eastside neighbourhoods like Sunset, Hastings-Sunrise or Grandview-Woodland.
A total of 183,911 declarations were made, with 8,481 declaring as empty or under-utilized, according to a city press release. That number includes 2,132 residential properties whose owners did not submit declarations.
The majority of Vancouver's empty homes were condos (60 per cent) while 33 per cent were detached houses.