One-in-Four Are “British Columbians First, Canadians Second”

More than one-in-four residents of the province (27%) think BC would be “better off” as its own country, up 10 points since 2019.

Vancouver, BC [August 4, 2020] – Most British Columbians continue to feel an affinity towards residents of two American cities in the Pacific Northwest, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 58% of British Columbians believe they have more in common with the people of Seattle and Portland than with those in Toronto or Montreal.

Men (68%), British Columbians aged 55 and over (72%) and residents of the Fraser Valley (71%) are more likely to feel closer to Washingtonians and Oregonians.

When asked if British Columbia would be better off as its own country, most residents (65%, -9 since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in 2019) voice disagreement. However, 27% (+10) agree with this statement.

Almost two thirds of respondents (63%, -4) say they are “Canadians first, and British Columbians second.” One-in-four (25%, +6) consider themselves “British Columbians first, and Canadians second”—a proportion that climbs to 44% among residents of the Fraser Valley.

“There is a higher sense of pride in British Columbia on a couple of the questions that we track to commemorate BC Day,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The results on whether the province would be better off as its own country are higher than in 2018 and 2019, but lower than what we have observed in Quebec and Alberta in years past.”

More than three-in-five British Columbians (64%, +5) claim their views “are different from the rest of the country”—including 72% of those aged 55 and over and 67% of BC Green Party voters in the 2017 provincial election.

Practically three-in-four British Columbians (74%, unchanged) think they will stay here for the rest of their lives, and more than four-in-five (81%, -5) are very proud of the province they live in.

Compared to 2019, there is significant movement on the questions related to the province’s best and worst recent heads of government.

More than one-in-five British Columbians (22%) think John Horgan has been the province’s best premier since 1986, up eight points in a year. Bill Vander Zalm is second with 14% (+7), followed by Christy Clark (9%, -2), Gordon Campbell (7%, -5) and Mike Harcourt (also 7%, -1).

As was the case last year, Clark is regarded as the worst recent premier (15%, down 12 points in a year), with Vander Zalm at 14% (+8) and Campbell at 11% (unchanged).

British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and the BC Greens in the 2017 provincial election are more likely to think that Clark has been the worst recent premier (44% and 42% respectively). Conversely, 26% of those who voted for the BC Liberals in the last contest select Horgan.

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from July 22 to July 24, 2020, 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. 

Photo Credit: Brandon Godfrey

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

Metro Vancouverites Ponder Bailouts for Tourism Sector

More than three-in-five agree with restaurants, cafés and bars being eligible for government-funded assistance.  

Vancouver, BC [May 1, 2020] – Residents of Metro Vancouver hold differing views on which businesses and corporations that are tied to the tourism industry should be buttressed with taxpayer money as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Research Co. poll has found.  

In the online survey of a representative sample, 78% of Metro Vancouverites believe that restaurants, cafés and bars that employ fewer than 10 people should be eligible for a government bailout.  

More than half of Metro Vancouverites would also consent to offer financial assistance to restaurants, cafés and bars that employ more than 10 people (76%), individual boutiques and stores (71%) and retail outlets that are part of a chain with five or more stores in the country (51%).  

“Metro Vancouverites appear particularly concerned with the pandemic leading to job losses in the restaurant sector,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Only 16% of residents believe small eateries should not receive financial assistance, and just 18% feel the same way about venues that employ more than 10 people.”  

At least two-in-five Metro Vancouverites believe taxi companies (47%), airlines (45%) and cruise ship operators (40%) should be eligible for a government-funded bailout.  

Residents of Vancouver and Surrey are more likely to favour government-funded assistance for airlines (47% and 46% respectively) than those who live in Burnaby (37%).  

Just over a third of Metro Vancouverites would consider a bailout for ride-hailing companies (35%), and just 27% would include Airbnb hosts on the same list.  

More than half of residents of Vancouver and Surrey (51%) are against ride-hailing companies being eligible for a government bailout, along with 46% of those in Burnaby and 58% of those who reside in other Metro Vancouver municipalities.  

Across Metro Vancouver, men are more likely than women to reject the notion of government assistance for Airbnb hosts (68% to 59%).  

While 53% of Metro Vancouverites aged 18-to-34 are opposed to bailing out Airbnb hosts, the proportion climbs to 69% among those aged 55 and over and 74% among those aged 35-to-54.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from April 24 to April 26, 2020, among 800 adults in Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Metro Vancouver. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 
Find our full dataset 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

Half of Canadians Concerned About Savings and Investments

More than a third have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about their employer running into serious financial trouble.

Vancouver, BC [April 7, 2020] – The proportion of Canadians who are apprehensive about specific economic issues during the COVID-19 outbreak is higher than it was during the global financial crisis of 2008, a new Research Co. poll has found.  

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 52% of Canadians say they have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about the safety of their savings in the past month.  

Half of Canadians (50%) have worried about the value of their investments over the past four weeks, while slightly fewer have been concerned “frequently” or “occasionally” about unemployment affecting their household (46%), being able to pay mortgage or rent (41%) or their employer running into serious financial trouble (37%).  

Compared to a similar survey conducted in September 2008—as the global financial crisis was developing—the proportion of Canadians who are troubled about the safety of their savings and the value of their investments has increased by 15 points and 12 points respectively.  

“In late September 2008, 51% of Canadians had not worried at all about being able to pay their mortgage or rent,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “In early April 2020, only 41% feel the same way.”  

The incidence of specific concerns varies across the country. At this point, Ontarians are the most worried about the safety of savings (59%), Albertans about unemployment affecting their household (52%) and British Columbians about being able to pay mortgage or rent (46%).  

While only one-in-five Canadians aged 55 and over (20%) have worried “frequently” or “occasionally” about their employer running into serious financial trouble, the proportion climbs to 41% among Canadians aged 35-to-54 and 50% among Canadians aged 18-to-34.  

When asked about investments, almost two thirds of Canadians (65%) say they plan to keep their current long-term strategy, while only 12% are planning to change their approach.  

A majority of Canadians (52%) expect the domestic economy to perform better than Italy’s in the next six months.  

Smaller proportions of Canadians foresee the domestic economy outpacing France (32%), China (29%), United Kingdom (26%), the United States (23%), Germany (22%) and Japan (20%).

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from March 30 to April 1, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full dataset 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 Parents in British Columbia Stressed by Work and Finance

The proportion of Metro Vancouver parents who expect their kids to relocate increased by 24 points since 2019.

Vancouver, BC [February 18, 2020] – A majority of parents across British Columbia are experiencing tension on account of specific issues, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample of parents, 58% say they experience work-related stress “frequently” or “occasionally.”

Majorities of parents in the province say they have also “frequently” or “occasionally” experienced financial stress (57%), family-related stress (53%) and housing-related stress (51%).

Across British Columbia, two-in-five parents (40%) say it is currently “moderately difficult” or “very difficult” for them to make ends meet. 

The proportion of parents who are having a hard time getting by financially is highest in Northern BC (60%), followed by Vancouver Island (45%), the Fraser Valley (40%), Metro Vancouver (39%) and Southern BC (28%).

Almost three-in-five parents in British Columbia (58%) say it is currently “very difficult” or “moderately difficult” for them to save money in a bank account. 

Other tasks that are currently tough for about two-in-five parents in the province are paying for day to day expenses (44%), paying for child care (42%) and paying for transportation (39%).

“Majorities of parents who reside in the Fraser Valley (62%), Metro Vancouver (59%), Vancouver Island (55%) and Southern BC (52%) acknowledge that saving for the future has become more complicated,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Transportation is a bigger issue for parents in Southern BC (47%), while day to day expenses are more of a problem in Northern BC (48%) and Vancouver Island (47%).”

Across the province, 65% of parents say it is “very likely” or “moderately likely” that their child (or any one of their children) will have to move away from the municipality where they currently live due to the high cost of living.

The proportion of parents in Metro Vancouver who expect their children to move away on account of financial constraints stands at 66%, up 24 points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in 2019.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 4 to February 7, 2020, among 623 adult parents of children aged 0 to 18 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 +/- 3.7 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full dataset 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

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

Increasing Rental Stock a Priority for Metro Vancouverites

More than three-in-four believe Canada should consider banning most foreigners from purchasing real estate.

Vancouver, BC [November 26, 2018] – Many residents of Metro Vancouver believe more rental units should be made available in the next three years, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of Metro Vancouverites, three-in-five (57%) think we need to build more rental units than we did over the three-year period that ended in 2017.

From 2015 to 2017, there were 75,000 new housing units built in Metro Vancouver. Approximately 23 per cent of them were for rental use.

One third of Metro Vancouverites (34%) would like to see more than 75,000 units built in the region over the next three years, while 27% would keep the same pace and 19% believe we should build less.

New Zealand recently passed legislation that bans most foreigners from purchasing real estate in the country. There are exceptions for foreigners who hold residency status in New Zealand, as well as citizens from Australia and Singapore, due to existing free-trade agreements.

Across Metro Vancouver, 77% of residents would support having similar legislation in Canada, that would ban most foreigners from purchasing real estate in the country.

“Metro Vancouverites are of three minds when assessing the current housing crisis,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The most supported proposition is a ban on foreign owners, and while a majority would like to see an increase in rental properties, the appetite for increasing the pace of construction is not as high.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 24 to November 25, 2018, among 700 adults in Metro Vancouver. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Metro Vancouver. The margin of error— which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.7 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

Two-in-Five Canadians Say Their Home Heating Use Has Increased

Three-in-ten Canadians in a relationship say they change the temperature at home without telling their partner. 

Vancouver, BC [December 6, 2018] – A sizeable proportion of Canadians are relying more heavily on home heating this year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, two-in-five Canadians (41%) say their energy and heating use at home has increased over the past few weeks—a proportion that reaches 46% in Atlantic Canada, and 43% in both Ontario and British Columbia.

Across the country, 9% of Canadians say they typically set their home heating at 18C or lower. Most residents select 19C or 20C (38%) and 21C or 22C (40%), while 6% set the thermostat at 23C or higher.

Respondents to this survey who are married or living with a significant other were asked who is in charge of setting the temperature at home. Two-in-five (40%) say they are solely responsible, while 18% say their spouse or partner takes care of this task, and 30% affirm that the decision is taken by both equally.

Women are more likely to say that the home thermostat is a joint responsibility (34%, compared to 25% for men), while men are more likely to say they are solely responsible for home heating settings at home (43%, compared to 38% for women).

Three-in-ten Canadians in a relationship (30%) admit that they change the temperature at home without telling their spouse or significant other “all of the time” (8%) or “most of the time” (22%), while just 19% say they have “never” done this.

“Women (35%) are more likely to acknowledge that they adjust the thermostat without telling their spouse or partner than men (25%),” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “On a regional basis, Quebecers are more likely to say they would never change the settings without consulting first (35%), while British Columbians (8%) are the least likely to do so.”

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 26 to November 29, 2018, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 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

British Columbians Worried About Real Estate Tax Expansion

Most residents think the provincial government will apply the additional school tax for properties valued at $1 million.

Vancouver, BC [November 22, 2018] – Many British Columbians are concerned about the possibility of a new tax on real estate being expanded to include lower priced properties, a new Research Co. poll conducted for STEPUP has found.

The provincial government introduced the additional school 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.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, seven-in-ten residents (70%) think the provincial government will likely expand the additional school tax to properties valued from $2 million to $2.99 million.

A majority of residents (53%) think the provincial government will likely expand the additional school tax to properties valued from $1 million to $1.99 million, and two-in-five (42%) think the tax may be expanded to include all properties.

Three-in-five residents (61%) approve of an eventual expansion of the additional school tax to properties valued from $2 million to $2.99 million. However, 66% of home owners who reside in a property currently assessed at $2 million or more disapprove of this expansion.

Most residents (51%) disapprove of expanding the additional school tax to properties valued from $1 million to $1.99 million, and almost three-in-four residents (73%) disapprove of expanding the additional school tax to all properties.

“While two thirds of British Columbians (67%) approve of the additional school tax in its current form, support drops if it is applied to lower priced properties,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Homeowners are decidedly opposed to the idea of the tax being expanded to include their places of residence.”

In addition, most British Columbians (57%) are not confident that the revenue generated by the additional school tax will be used to provide education in the province.

Almost half of British Columbians (46%) think provincial politicians have sought to divide over the past year, while more than a third (36%) think they have sought to unite.

A majority of BC New Democratic Party (NDP) voters in the last provincial election (56%) think politicians have sought to unite, while seven-in-ten BC Liberal voters (70%) think they have sought to divide.

Methodology:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 2 to September 5, 2018, 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. 

Photo Credit: Larry LaRose

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[c] 778.929.0490
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca

British Columbians Support Government’s Housing Measures

The opposition’s idea of a “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax” is backed by two thirds of residents.

Vancouver, BC [June 5, 2018] – A sizeable majority of British Columbians are in favour of specific housing measures announced by the provincial government in this year’s budget, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, three-in-five respondents (62%) think introducing a “speculation tax” of 2% of a property’s assessed value for vacant homes is a “very good” or “good” idea.

Two thirds of residents (67%) believe introducing a tax of 0.2 per cent on the value of homes worth between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4 per cent on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

A slightly higher proportion of British Columbians (69%) think increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million is also a “very good” or “good” idea.

Three-in-four British Columbians (76%) say it was a “very good” or “good” idea to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver, and four-in-five (80%) feel the same way about increasing the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20%.

The opposition BC Liberals have tabled the “Strata Pre-Sale Contract Flipping Tax Act 2018”, which calls for a provincial capital-gains tax on any profit from the sale of housing units before construction is completed. Almost two thirds of British Columbians (65%) think this is a “very good” or “good idea”.

Most residents who voted for the BC Liberals in last year’s provincial election are supportive of the current government’s measures, from a low of 53% for the “speculation tax” to a high of 77% for increasing the foreign buyers tax.

In addition, most residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial ballot are in favour of the opposition’s pre-sale contract flipping proposal (62% and 73% respectively).

“In spite of some localized protests, the government’s housing measures are particularly popular with British Columbians,” says Mario Canseco, President at Research Co. “Support for these guidelines, as well as the recent proposal from the BC Liberals to address condo-flipping, is strong among all age groups and voters of the three main political parties.”

Methodology:
Results are based on an online study conducted from May 27 to May 29, 2018, 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

 

On housing and the budget

Originally published in the Vancouver Sun on March 6, 2018.

One of the things that makes my job as a public-opinion researcher so compelling is having the chance to test how the population will react to a particular issue or decision. A recent opportunity arrived with the perceived outcry from individual homeowners to the changes in taxation that were announced by the B.C. government in the latest budget.

A poll conducted earlier this month showed that more than four-in-five British Columbians thought three items included in the budget were “good ideas:” Increasing the foreign-buyers tax from 15-20 per cent (82 per cent saw it as a “good idea”), introducing a “speculation tax” of two per cent of a property’s assessed value for vacant homes whose homeowners pay no income tax in B.C. (81 per cent) and expanding the foreign-buyers tax to areas outside of Metro Vancouver (also 81 per cent)

The foreign-buyers tax has always been popular with residents. Increasing it by five percentage points and taking it to other areas that could potentially be attractive to foreign investors makes sense for many. A speculation levy for those who pay no taxes in the province is also regarded positively. But what about the government’s proposal to increase the property-transfer tax from three to five per cent for homes valued at more than $3 million? The idea was welcomed by 77 per cent of British Columbians.

A hypothesis, which was mentioned immediately after the budget was released, was that support for the property-transfer tax change would be extremely low among homeowners, especially in the Lower Mainland. This is simply not the case. More than seven-in-10 British Columbians who own their primary residence and reside in the Lower Mainland (72 per cent) welcomed the increase in the property-transfer tax. Among those whose property is currently valued at $1 million or more, the level of agreement is 64 per cent.

The government’s proposals are designed to cool the real-estate market and generate some revenue that could be used for specific initiatives to help British Columbians who are struggling with housing affordability. Our tracking data shows how housing, homelessness and poverty became the main concern for 50 per cent of British Columbians in January 2018. But will the efforts to make housing more affordable come at the expense of current homeowners, particularly in Metro?

With this in mind, we asked Metro Vancouverites whether they would be “happy” or “unhappy” if real-estate prices in their area dropped by 10 per cent. Three-in-four (74 per cent) said they would be “happy” if this actually took place.

Practically all Metro Vancouverites who rent their primary residence (92 per cent) said a drop in real-estate prices would make them “happy.” But a majority of homeowners (61 per cent) acknowledged that they would feel “happy” with this scenario, while 30 per cent said that it would make them feel “unhappy.” This represents a 2-1 margin on what was originally perceived as a controversial issue. British Columbians who are already in the market and amassing equity from their home don’t appear ready for a revolt against the current government.

Housing, as an issue, has transcended party banners at the provincial level and requires solutions that can be palatable for most. The polarization that we used to see in previous years with government proposals wasn’t evident in the initial reaction to the budget, particularly on the housing file. Even B.C. Liberal voters from the last election appear to be giving the current B.C. NDP government the benefit of the doubt.

Right now, with the housing proposals fresh in the minds of voters and the Opposition finding it more convenient to zero in on the changes to Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums, the provincial government is in a good position to sell their housing stance. Still, all the goodwill that is currently outlined by a large proportion of residents can disappear. There needs to be a tangible effect from changes to existing property taxes and the introduction of a new one.

Millennials are trying to figure out if they can stay in the city where they’re currently studying or enjoying their initial work experience. Young Generation Xers are making decisions about family and may yearn for larger accommodation. These two demographic groups, which supported the B.C. NDP in last year’s election, will be particularly attentive to the opportunities that the government’s decisions may generate for them. And they will vote accordingly.