If you’ve read our last few blogs, than you’re well acquainted with the long and prestigious career of developer Nat Bosa. With decades developing skylines in Canada and the U.S., he’s survived through high inflation, the Great Recession, and family fall-outs. It’s fair to say that he’s pretty much seen it all, and now with Vancouver’s real estate hitting record highs and vacancy lows, we sat down with Bosa to see how he felt about the latest headlines on the market.
“Chinese investors head south flee to B.C.’s Foreign Buyers Tax”
With the introduction of the new Foreign Buyers Tax, The Vancouver Sun reported Chinese buyers are fleeing to Seattle to avoid the newly imposed 15% property-transfer tax on foreign nationals buying real estate in Metro Vancouver.
Bosa: “I would have to say that Christy Clark had to do something. The election is coming. I think I would not be far off if I say that 90% of the people in this room would vote for her. Was it the perfect thing to do? No, but there is no perfect thing to do, and she had to do something.
In this industry, we’re all kind of hogs. We don’t want you to touch what’s great for us. I think by doing what she did, she was able to cool the fire but she is not killing the fire. The fire is still there; it’s the best thing that could happen to our market right now. It was getting stupid. I think the market is going to be fine. The Chinese are not going to stop buying here - this is their number one hive.
By doing what she did, she is showing the masses that she’s not in the pockets of the developers, and that’s good. The developers should be just thrilled that she’s doing a great job.”
“Snitch-and-audit enforcement part of Vancouver's proposed empty-homes tax”
Mayor Gregor Robertson announced that Vancouver will have a levy on empty homes in time for the 2017 tax season, and neighbours will be leaned on to help enforce it.
Bosa: “This is going to be complicated. It’s going to be hard to enforce. I heard recently there’s one guy in West Vancouver that bought 37 homes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re all empty. I bet there are some streets in West Van where you can’t find neighbours. That’s what’s wrong. There should be a rule that you have to put people inside of the homes at least and rent the place out.
This is a repeat of the of late 80’s from Hong Kong. They were buying the homes as an insurance policy. We have to force them to at least rent the place out. I don’t disagree with what Greg Robertson is trying to do, but how you are going to implement it is another question.”
“New tariff driving up the price of drywall by up to 276%”
The Canadian government imposed duties of up to 276% on drywall imported from the U.S. in an effort to help Canadian producers. It’s said that these tariffs could add an additional $2,500 to $3,000 to construction costs of a home.
Bosa: “Here we go talking about governments again. We had a government that was ‘Steady Eddie’. Dull, getting arrogant, but Harper was doing his job. Then it was time for a colourful change – well, we got Vanity Fair. Here we are talking about Trump, but no one is talking about what this guy [Trudeau] is doing here?
Am I surprised he’s bringing in this tax? Of course not. Is it good? Of course it’s not good.”
To read more about Nat Bosa’s career highs and lows, read more on the NAIOP blog.