More Than Seven-in-Ten British Columbians Endorse Housing Taxes

Almost half of residents think these actions will be effective in making housing more affordable in the province.

Vancouver, BC [January 3, 2020] – The “speculation tax” introduced by the Government of British Columbia is still backed by a sizeable proportion of the province’s residents, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 76% of British Columbians agree with the implementation of the “speculation tax” in specific urban areas targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who pay little or no income tax in BC, and those who own second properties that aren’t long-term rentals.

The survey outlines an eight-point increase in agreement with the “speculation tax” since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in March 2019.

“Agreement with this particular tax is strong among voters of all three major political parties in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “It encompasses 86% for those who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2017, as well as 75% of those who cast ballots for candidates from the BC Liberals and the BC Green Party.”

More than three-in-four British Columbians agree with two other policies: Increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% (77%, -3) and expanding the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vanncouver (also 77%, +2).

Agreement is also strong with two other measures: increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million. The 5% portion only applies to the value greater than $3 million (72%, +8) and introducing a tax of 0.2% on the value of homes between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4% on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million (also 72%, +6).

Across the province, 49% of residents think the actions of the provincial government will be “effective”, in making housing more affordable in British Columbia, while 39% consider they will be ”ineffective.”

There is a pronounced regional divide on this question. While majorities of residents of Northern BC (56%) and Metro Vancouver (52%) think the provincial government’s actions will help make housing more affordable, the proportion is lower in the Fraser Valley (45%), Vancouver Island (44%) and Southern BC (40%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from December 12 to December 16, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

If Forced to Relocate, Almost Half of Albertans Would Pick BC

Just over one-in-four British Columbians would select Alberta as the province to resettle.

Vancouver, BC [August 27, 2019] – A significant proportion of Albertans would welcome relocating to British Columbia if circumstances called for a move, a new two-province Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of representative provincial samples, 47% of Albertans say they would choose British Columbia if they had to move out of Alberta and live in any other region of Canada.

Ontario and Saskatchewan are tied as the second Canadian destination for Albertans with 11% each, followed by Nova Scotia at 4%.

“A majority of Edmontonians (53%) would choose British Columbia if they were compelled to move away from Alberta,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “But more than two-in-five Calgarians (45%) and residents of other parts of Alberta (42%) are willing to join them.”

In British Columbia, 26% of residents say they would move to Alberta if they had to leave British Columbia and resettle in a different Canadian province. 

Ontario is second in the minds of British Columbians with 16%, followed by Nova Scotia with 8%. One third of residents (33%) are undecided about which province they would move to.

While more residents of Metro Vancouver express a preference to resettle in Ontario (24%) than in Alberta (20%), all other regions of the province select Alberta first, including 33% of those in Northern BC and 32% of those in the Fraser Valley.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 23 to July 25, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia and 700 adults in Alberta. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia and Alberta. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points for the British Columbia sample and +/- 3.7 percentage points for the Alberta sample, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Views on Crime in British Columbia Vary by Generation

In the past four years, one-in-five residents of the province have reported a crime to the police.

Vancouver, BC [August 16, 2019] – The perceptions of British Columbians on crime and public safety go through sizeable fluctuations according to age, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, two-in-five of the province’s residents (40%) say they fear becoming a victim of a crime in their community “a great deal” or “a fair amount.”

British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (48%) are significantly more likely to fear becoming victims of crime than those aged 35-to-54 (40%) and those aged 55 and over (33%).

On a regional basis, the area where most British Columbians fear becoming victims of a crime is Metro Vancouver (43%), followed by Southern BC (40%), the Fraser Valley (39%), Northern BC (37%) and Vancouver Island (30%).

“There is a deep generational divide when it comes to perceptions of public safety in British Columbia,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Millennials are more likely to fear becoming victims and Baby Boomers are more likely to say that crime is on the rise in their community.”

While two thirds of British Columbians (68%) acknowledge that they would feel “very safe” or “moderately safe” walking alone in their own neighbourhood after dark, 31% say they would feel  “moderately unsafe” or “very unsafe.”

Women (41%) and British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (39%) are more likely to report that they would feel “unsafe” walking alone in their own neighbourhood after dark.

Almost two-in-five British Columbians (41%, +3 since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in June 2018) think the level of criminal activity in their community has increased in the past four years.

Most residents of Southern BC (56%) and the Fraser Valley (54%) believe crime has increased in their communities, compared to 41% for Northern BC, 38% for Vancouver Island and 37% for Metro Vancouver.

Across the province, one-in-five British Columbians (20%) say they have been the victims of a crime over the past few years where the police was called in (such as an assault or a car break-in) in their community—including 26% of those aged 18-to-34.

When asked how much specific factors are to blame “a great deal” for the current situation regarding crime and public safety in their community, more than two-in-five British Columbians (45%) point to “addiction and mental health issues” while one third (32%) select “gangs and the illegal drug trade.”

Fewer residents of the province blame an “inadequate court system” (24%), “poverty and inequality” (23%), “lack of values and the improper education of youth” (17%), “bad economy and unemployment” (14%), “insufficient policing and lack of resources to combat crime” (13%) and “immigrants and minorities” (9%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 7 to August 10, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Most Vancouverites Open to Changes in Single-Family Zoning

A sizeable majority supports a city-wide plan that makes all of Vancouver more affordable and accessible.

Vancouver, BC [June 21, 2019] – A majority of residents of the City of Vancouver would welcome a modification in existing zoning regulations, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative city-wide sample, 71% of Vancouverites think the city should allow the construction of duplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and 3-4 storey apartments in neighbourhoods where now only single-family homes are permitted.

In addition, about three-in-four Vancouverites think the city should continue its practice of preserving heritage buildings even if it prevents the construction of new rental housing (74%) and are in favour of building more temporary modular housing for the homeless (also 74%).

When asked about specific projects that could be undertaken in their immediate neighbourhood, 28% of Vancouverites say they are not opposed to any type of building.

Fewer than one-in-ten Vancouverites voice opposition to new single-family homes (9%), townhouses (8%), fourplexes (also 8%) and duplexes (6%) in their immediate neighbourhood, and fewer than one-in-five feel the same way about 6-storey rental buildings (19%), 6-storey condo buildings (18%), 4-storey rental buildings (14%) and 4-storey condo buildings (12%).

More than a third of residents are opposed to having a new 20-storey rental (38%) or 20-storey condo building (38%) in their immediate neighbourhood. Three-in-ten (31%) feel the same way about temporary modular housing.

“Opposition to having condos and rental buildings in the neighbourhood is directly related to size,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “There is definitely more resistance from residents in all areas of the city when it comes to pursuing larger projects.”

More than three-in-five Vancouverites (63%) say they favour a city-wide plan that emphasizes future growth and allows more people to afford and live in all parts of the city.

Significantly smaller proportions of residents are unsure about the city-wide planning process (19%) or voice support for protecting neighbourhoods from changing in the future (9%) or call for growth in some parts of the city, while keeping theirs intact (also 9%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 8 to April 20, 2019, among 606 adults in the City of Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the City of Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.0 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Government’s Housing Taxes Remain Popular in British Columbia

Four-in-five residents endorse the increase in the foreign buyers tax, and more than two thirds agree with the “speculation tax.”.

Vancouver, BC [March 19, 2019] – Most British Columbians endorse the provincial government’s housing-related fiscal policies, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 68% of residents agree with the implementation of a “speculation tax” in specific urban areas targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who pay little or no income tax in BC, and those who own second properties that aren’t long-term rentals.

In a survey conducted by Research Co. in June 2018, 62% of British Columbians called the “speculation tax” a “very good” or “good” idea.

“While some government policies tend to cause extraordinary differences between residents according to political allegiance, the ‘speculation tax’ is different,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Those who agree with the ‘speculation tax’ include 82% of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2017 provincial election, 70% of those who voted for the Green Party and 55% of those who voted for the BC Liberals.”

Four-in-five British Columbians (80%) agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20%, and three-in-four (75%) agree with the decision to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver.

More than three-in-five British Columbians also agree with increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million (64%) and introducing a tax of 0.2% on the value of homes between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4% on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million (66%).

Across the province, 39% of residents think the actions of the provincial government will be “effective” in making housing more affordable in British Columbia, while almost half (47%) believe they will be “ineffective.”

Residents who voted for the BC NDP in the last provincial election (56%) are more likely to expect the hosing measures to be effective, while those who cast a ballot for the BC Liberals (64%) or the BC Greens (48%) are more likely to deem them as ”ineffective.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 8 to March 10, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca