Look, Ma, I’m in a mansion: College kids in Vancouver benefit from new tax

High-priced homes are being converted into dorms, spurred by a levy on landlords who leave their residential properties vacant
April 17, 2019 10:30AM

A mansion in Vancouver (Credit: Getty Images)

A mansion in Vancouver (Credit: Getty Images)

Ultra luxury mansions in Vancouver are being transformed into college dorms, thanks to a new tax that charges landlords who leave their residential properties vacant.

One student, 22-year-old Isaiah Boodhoo, rented a bedroom in a mansion for $825 a month after seeing a listing posted on Facebook, according to Bloomberg. The property was owned by an Afghan musician who rents out the nine-bedroom home to 14 students.

The recent trend has been prompted by new taxes that reportedly add up to as much as 3 percent in annual levies for homeowners who do not live primarily at the homes. The new taxes were introduced following a boom in foreign investment in the city in the years leading up to 2016.

It’s a symptom of a residential market correction currently affecting the Canadian city. The composite home price for Metro Vancouver fell 4.5 percent in January on a year-over-year basis to $780,000. It’s the largest annual drop since May 2013.

A recent report found that about 800 mansions in the city were listed for rent on Craigslist at bargain prices, some for under $1,000 per month per bedroom.

Overall, housing prices are down 8.5 percent from their peak last June, Bloomberg reported. [Bloomberg] — David Jeans