Over 75% of B.C. residents in favour of housing taxes, poll finds

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

While real estate sales are starting to tick back up and prices were lower last month compared to the year before, more than three quarters of B.C. residents are in favour of various housing taxes meant to address speculation, a new poll has found. 

The poll, conducted by Research Co., found that 76 per cent of B.C. residents surveyed are in favour of the speculation tax, specifically when used in urban areas to target foreign and domestic homeowners who don't pay a lot in income tax.

That marks an eight-point increase in agreement with the speculation tax since Research Co. conducted a similar survey last March.

"Agreement with this particular tax is strong among voters of all three major political parties in the province," said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. in a news release.

"It encompasses 86 per cent for those who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2017, as well as 75 per cent of those who cast ballots for candidates from the BC Liberals and the BC Green Party."

More than three quarters of B.C. residents polled also agreed with increasing the foreign buyers' tax from 15 to 20 per cent and expanding the tax to areas outside Metro Vancouver.

Province-wide, just under half of residents say they think the province's actions will prove to be effective in making housing more affordable in B.C.

Just under 40 per cent say they think those efforts will ultimately be ineffective, however.

Results from the survey were gathered between Dec. 12 and 16 among 800 B.C. adults. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.