(Magnus Larsson/Flickr)

UBC prof says report citing $89B home equity loss a ‘grassroots movement of the rich’

Report says longtime homeowners are being taxed out of their homes by the NDP

Although an $89 billion dip in home equity across Metro Vancouver could impact recent homebuyers, longtime homeowners will see little impact.

STEPUP, which describes itself as a “grassroots non-partisan movement by concerned B.C. citizens,” released a report this week about an $89.2 billion loss in home equity across the region between April 2018 and April 2019.

Much of that loss would have been in Vancouver, at $43.6 billion.

The report was prepared by Paul Sullivan, senior partner at Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan & Associates Ltd.

Sullivan said that although Premier John Horgan’s government may be attempting to lower housing prices, “they are simply removing billions of dollars from the B.C. economy.”

“This provincial government suggests you don’t deserve to have that real estate ‘wealth’ and should pay even more, on top of rising income taxes, the highest gas prices in North America and ballooning ICBC and utility fee increases,” Sullivan said.

“The impact of the school tax surcharge on homes assessed at over $3 million, for example, means an average 35 per cent increase across Vancouver.”

But Tsur Somerville, an associated professor at the UBC Sauder School of Business, believes that “in any meaningful sense the average homeowner is fine.”

“Anyone who been in the housing market is still way ahead,” Sommerville said, pointing to Point Grey homeowners outraged by the report.

Point Grey resident Ric Pow, who was quoted in STEPUP’s report, said he and his wife have “have been taxed out of our home.”

The Pows have owned a home in Point Grey for 33 years but say their home “has lost 25% of its value since the NDP took power.”

But Somerville said homeowners who’ve been the housing market “have done so well, they’ve been so lucky in the lottery of life that I think arguing about it is somewhat socially irresponsible.”

The movement, he said, is “a grassroots movement of the rich.”

The people who will be negatively affected by this equity loss, Somerville said, are recent first time homebuyers.

“Anyone who’s bought near the peak of the market about a year ago isn’t looking at any gains, but just declines in equity.”

READ MORE: Multimillion dollar Vancouver home owners say they can’t stomach tax bump

READ MORE: Mathematician not impressed by people complaining about B.C.’s school tax

READ MORE: David Eby cancels town hall due to ‘safety concerns’ after school tax protest planned


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Advance polling saw nearly 10,000 votes cast in Vernon-Monashee. Pictured: Schubert Centre. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
BC VOTES 2020: Live results roll in for Vernon-Monashee race

That’s a wrap on voting in the provincial 2020 election

Predator Ridge Resort has announced plans to add a new outdoor skating rink this winter. The facility is expected to open Dec. 7, 2020. (Contributed)
Outdoor skating rink coming to Vernon’s Predator Ridge

The facility is touted as the first private refrigerated skating rink in the Okanagan

West Kelowna Warriors goaltender Roman Basran stood tall in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Vernon Vipers Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
Vernon Vipers fall to West Kelowna Warriors in shootout

Kelowna Rockets goalie Roman Basran helped the warriors to a 4-3 SO win Friday night.

Navi Mann casts his vote at Mission Hill Elementary School’s mock election Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Construction will close 25th Street Oct. 28-Nov. 3 in the 4100-4200 block. (Google map)
Construction closes Vernon street

Work underway on 25th Street Oct. 28-Nov. 3

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

(Big White Ski Resort photo)
Big White receives 21 cm of snow in 24 hours

Resort’s snow base 41 cm deep, one month until opening day

The deer were allegedly shot within Princeton town limits, late at night. Black Press File Photo.
Armed man, in full camouflage, allegedly shoots deer in downtown Princeton

‘The list of charges goes on and on,’ said RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes

Most Read