A few days ago I published a list of policy ideas that I believe will help alleviate the housing affordability crisis in Vancouver. I mentioned at the time that I would probably forget something as I wrote, and I did:
10. Capital Gains Tax: I would change the regulations on the capital gains tax exemption for principal residence by adding a time component to ensure that speculative flipping became less profitable. I would suggest that there be no exemption for a resale in the first 12 months of ownership; 25% exemption in year 2; 50% exemption in year 3; and 75% in year 4. The full exemption would apply thereafter. I would also insist that the time limits only begin when the true beneficial owner of the property proves residency in BC. Not only would this provide a disincentive for speculative buying, but would reinforce the idea that a home is primarily a home rather than an investment.
Policy #10 also implies a much broader definition of transparency in property ownership, enough at least to identify the genuine beneficial owner.