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In 1976, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver), published a report called “The Livable Region 1976/1986.”    In 1976 the population on the GVRD was 1.2 million and the study was looking at how to prepare for the next 10 years, during which 300,000 more people were to arrive in the district.   In the introduction of the report, the author wrote:  “Traffic problems are worse, parks are more crowded, the lineups at the Lions Gate, Patullo and Oak Street Bridges are longer, hundreds of acres of farmland have disappeared, and house prices have escalated rapidly.”  This was in 1976, so I can’t help but wonder what the author thinks about Vancouver today!



About ten years later, in 1987, BC introduced the Property Transfer Tax.  Starting then, home buyers pay a tax of 1% on the first $200,000, and 2% on the balance of the purchase price.  At that time, 95% of homes were selling for under $200,000, and the PTT was introduced as a temporary tax to curb speculation, particularly in the high end market of the most expensive 5% of purchases. 

Thirty years later just about 100% of homes in Metro Vancouver sell for more than $200,000.  Many Vancouverites might say that the PTT did not stop speculation in the market since 1987.  However, as we approach the 30th anniversary of the PTT, we can safely assume it’s no longer temporary.

Forty years after the Livable Region 1976 report, the Metro Vancouver population has doubled and is now over 2.5 million.  Last year the BC population grew by about 45,000 people, and roughly 2/3 or 29,000, settled in the Lower Mainland.  In the City of Vancouver alone there were 5,100 more neighbours sharing the City.  Often times, when I’m driving down our streets with somebody new in town, I hear comments about “there’s construction everywhere” or “whose buying all of these new homes.”  Well, the simplest answer is that there are over 40 more people per square kilometer in the City each year, and they all need somewhere to sleep.

When we talk about the influx of new comers in our communities, it reminds me of the annual “Global Liveability Ranking” published by The Economist.  This year’s ranking was just published and Vancouver again held its number 3 spot.  I recently met a Japanese woman, who had visited Vancouver for the first time and after falling in love with the city, she mentioned Vancouver was the “丁度いい都会と田舎の融合”.The top three cities in this ranking all share this characteristic.  Vancouver is a mid-sized city, where you can enjoy the ocean & the mountains, the four seasons & mild climate, first rate arts & culture, good education & healthcare, without the high crime or terrorism threat.  This combination, in today’s global market, is attractive to many people on the world stage.

On the other hand, in January of this year we ranked in 3rd place on another list, the “Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2016”.  In the survey, the top three least affordable metropolitan housing markets were Hong Kong in first place, Sydney in second and Vancouver in third.   Hong Kong has had a hefty speculation tax from 2010, for homes flipped within 2-3 yeas, as well since 2012 has a 15% additional levy paid by foreign buyers.  Sydney Australia has restricted foreigners from buying existing housing stock for a long time, so foreigners can only buy new properties.  Sydney also implemented a 4% additional tax on foreigners earlier this year.  In Metro Vancouver, starting on August 2nd, non-Citizens and non-Permanent Residents now pay an extra 15% at the time of purchase.  The Demographia survey measures housing prices as a ratio to incomes, so although we are not the top 3 or even the top 10 in terms of prices alone, our incomes are too low to sustain the expensive real estate, and locals have long complained that it’s foreign equity that’s driving up our prices.  From the 1980’s to today, we’ve seen equity flow into this city from many parts of the world including Japan, Hong Kong, America, Iran, Korea and of course these days, China.

The first signs or our overheated market slowing down came in May.  Then during June to July, we saw the market continue to calm, as sales volumes began to drop.    When the announcement came at the end of July and took effect on August 2nd, it halted foreign buyers from writing new contracts, and prompted local buyers to sit on the fence to see what happens next.  You could say the natural cycle was starting to put its foot on the brake pedal, when the government pulled the emergency brake handle.  This made what may have been a slow but eventual soft landing, feel more like a bumpy halt; but either way it seems we’re not crashing.

Many people I’ve spoken to from renters to home owners, and from locals to visitors seem to agree that some type of additional tax on foreign buyers is not a bad idea for markets such as Vancouver.  Most also value the idea of an open and free market.  But again many Vancouverites also feel, where supply struggles to keep up with population growth, where average incomes haven’t kept up with home prices, and where there has always been global demand for a piece of our international city, maybe something did have to be done.  But in order to improve affordability, just as in 1987 when the first PTT was introduced, a new tax will surely not do the job alone.  Promoting local industries and high paying jobs, pushing forward new development permits and higher density zoning changes, increasing transit options and efficiency to make larger areas commutable, and of course finding ways of lending a helpful hand to those of us who truly need it, are all required side-by-side.  And since BC will now have the extra tax dollars for years to come, we should all start expecting improvements, the Province will now be able to afford.

There’s also been a lot of debate since the PTT announcement, whether the tax is fair or not.  There is no way to think up flawless legislation; however, we’ll end this long essay, with examples highlighting some of the more controversial ways the new tax can affect Buyers:


Please note these scenarios are for illustration purposes only and should not be relied on.  The legislation, your accountant, lawyer and realtor should be consulted for individual cases.

Yori Nakatani  Director, Kiyukai

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企友会理事 谷口明夫

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2016年7月17日開催 企友会・日加商工会議所共催ゴルフ大会のご報告


去る717() 晴天に恵まれ、恒例の企友会・日加商工会議所共催ゴルフが、39名の参加を得て Meadow Gardens Golf Club にて開催されました。2006年から数え11回目になる本大会のためか、馴染みのメンバーが多く、スタート前からゴルフ談議や世間話に花が咲いていました。全員の集合写真撮影の後、皆さん、それぞれの思いを心に秘め、午前1048分を皮切りに10組がスタートしました。

本大会は、橋本龍太郎元総理大臣の寄贈による総理大臣杯(男子ネット優勝)、在バンクーバー日本総領事館寄贈の総領事杯(女子ネット優勝)、主催の日加商工会議所杯(男子ベストグロス)、同じく主催の企友会杯(女子ベストグロス)が用意されている豪華な大会です。夫々の杯には、過去の受賞者の名前が記載された多くのリボンが括り付けられており、長い歴史を感じます。Meadow Gardens Golf Club のコースは池などの『水』が多いことで有名で、今年参加の皆さんも過去の例に漏れず、数多くのボールを失われたようです。しかし、今年は幸運にも参加者からのゴルフボールの寄付が多く、失ったボールの数よりも多くのボールを手に入れて帰られた方も多くいらっしゃいました。

プレー後は、コースのレストランでのディナー、そして、成績発表です。ディナーに舌鼓を打ちながらの歓談も、当日のプレーの自慢、反省などの話題で賑わい、日に焼けた皆さんの笑顔がとても印象的でした。成績は、例年本大会で採用されているダブルぺリア方式を採用したプレゼンテーション用プラグラムを使って発表されました。 12個の隠しホールを入力するたびにスクリーンに表示されている順位が変わり、その度に一喜一憂する参加者の歓声が会場に響き渡り、賑やかな成績発表となりました。


総理大臣杯 (男子ネット優勝)上山健三

総領事杯 (女子ネット優勝):塩入勝子

日加商工会議所杯  (男子ベストグロス):中村鋭司




企友会理事・大会幹事  塚本隆志

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2016年6月24日開催 パティオ de トークのご報告

夏の始まりをお祝いしながら、6 24日に二回目のパティオdeトークを開催いたしました。 

パティオ de トークはGuu Gardenのご厚意により、開店前のパティオを利用させて頂き、美味しいおつまみとビールを楽しみながら行われます。年齢、職種、バックグランドが様々な方にご参加いただき、大変盛り上がりました。今回の参加者は、企友会会員とボランティア、ゲストを合わせて15名。小ぢんまりとした雰囲気の中で、全員の自己紹介をラウンドテーブル形式で行い、個人の趣味やビジネスの進捗、企友会とのご縁など、それぞれの話題が紹介され、参加者全員がより良い関係を築けたのではないかと思います。どのような仕事も、ビジネスは基本人と人との関係になりますので、このような懇親会も、今後も大切にして、開催していきたいと思います。

企友会理事 中谷陽里


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企友会理事 金谷泰政

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