B.C. registry targets under-the-radar condo flippers to address housing crisis

B.C. registry targets under-the-radar condo flippers to address housing crisis
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VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has launched Canada’s first registry aimed at cracking down on pre-sale property flipping and tax evasion in the province’s real estate market.

Finance Minister Carole James said Monday the Condo and Strata Assignment Integrity Register will help the province track property sales.

She said developers will be required to collect and record information on property that has been resold and file quarterly reports. The first is due April 30, covering the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2019.

The registry is part of the government’s housing plan introduced in last year’s provincial budget to invest in more affordable homes, fight tax fraud and close loopholes in real estate.

“We said when we were elected we’d be bold about addressing the housing crisis,” James said. “This is another of those steps that we’re taking to make sure that there’s transparency and that people are paying their fair share.”

Condo developers will have to securely gather and report the identity and citizenship of anyone completing a contract assignment in a project, she said.

A contract assignment occurs when a buyer sells, or “flips,” a purchase contract of a condo to another buyer, often at a higher price, before construction of the building is complete.

James said the practice has been a factor in raising real estate prices while facilitating tax evasion when capital gains and other taxes are not applied.

She said she expected developers to comply with the registry.

“It’s in the legislation so they are required by law,” James said. “There are also fines in place if they don’t.”

The Canadian Press

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