Air B&Bs and the housing shortage.

Nick Danger

Council Member
Jul 21, 2013
1,542
308
83
Penticton, BC
I live in a tourist hotspot and the short term rental business is so lucrative you can buy a house specifically for use as a short term rental and make a tidy profit even while the place sits empty for at least half the year. This area is also in the grips of a severe housing shortage for both buyers and renters that is driving sale prices and rents out of reach for average earners. I'm kind of torn on this, on one hand it's very thin ice to be telling someone else what they can do with their own property, but at the same time there is a moral issue around taking homes off the market for personal gain at a time when they are badly needed. I was on a local social media page yesterday and someone was complaining that they had friends coming to visit next month and the Air B&B they had booked in February had canceled on them. Someone else piped in and said she had three new ones coming on ine at the beginning of July, all three bedroom townhouses. Something in there doesn't feel right.
 
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taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
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Vancouver Island
I live in a tourist hotspot and the short term rental business is so lucrative you can buy a house specifically for use as a short term rental and make a tidy profit even while the place sits empty for at least half the year. This area is also in the grips of a severe housing shortage for both buyers and renters that is driving sale prices and rents out of reach for average earners. I'm kind of torn on this, on one hand it's very thin ice to be telling someone else what they can do with their own property, but at the same time there is a moral issue around taking homes off the market for personal gain at a time when they are badly needed. I was on a local social media page yesterday and someone was complaining that they had friends coming to visit next month and the Air B&B they had booked in February had canceled on them. Someone else piped in and said she had three new ones coming on ine at the beginning of July, all three bedroom townhouses. Something in there doesn't feel right.
The biggest problem with housing is governments. Too many regulations and too many levels of government with taxing authority.
 

Jinentonix

Executive Branch Member
Sep 6, 2015
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Olympus Mons
The biggest problem with housing is governments. Too many regulations and too many levels of government with taxing authority.
I think the biggest problem is not enough of the right regulations. Developed single family residential property should be strictly "rationed" for lack of a better word. In other words, you can own/rent ONE principle residence and ONE vacation house/cottage whatever for a maximum of two residential properties. In the GTA assholes have been buying blocks of houses (not actual street blocks) to use as Air B&B units.
Secondly: NO foreign ownership of residential property of ANY kind. If you ain't a Canadian citizen, or at least a permanent resident then f*ck off.

Thirdly: Residential property is residential not commercial. If you wanna get into the hospitality industry, go buy a hotel/motel. Residential property should NOT be permitted to be used as hotel/hospitality industry units.

Fourth: NO more house flipping bullshit. All that does is take first-time home buyers who may have the skills to turn it into their own home out of the loop.
 

taxslave

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 25, 2008
34,605
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Vancouver Island
Not too sure about the non foreign ownership. Many Canadians own property in other countries so this would be sure to backfire.
Flipping doesn't really work in Canada like it does in the US. The taxman will get you and it makes it not worth the effort. Air B&B should certainly be banished as well as resorts buying houses for bunkhouses for staff.
 

Jinentonix

Executive Branch Member
Sep 6, 2015
8,938
2,911
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Olympus Mons
Not too sure about the non foreign ownership. Many Canadians own property in other countries so this would be sure to backfire.
Oh well. They're just helping to contribute to housing shortages in other countries. This is not a solely Canadian problem.
Flipping doesn't really work in Canada like it does in the US. The taxman will get you and it makes it not worth the effort.
Still hasn't stopped it. My wife's sister and her husband flipped 7 houses themselves. The taxes didn't seem to bother them too much.