There are currently over 1.3 million unoccupied homes in Canada, says OECD

According to newly released data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada has more than 1.3 million unoccupied homes, the fifth-highest number of any country in the world.

According to OECD data, there are 1,340,364 vacant properties across Canada, accounting for around 8.7% of the country’s 15.41 million homes, or one in every twelve. Canada ranked 11th in the vacancy rate, which is the number of vacant dwellings divided by the total number of homes.

With 15.5 million vacant residences, Canada was second only to the United States, followed by Japan with 8.5 million, Brazil with 7.9 million, and France with 3.1 million.

Better Dwelling Co-Founder Stephen Punwasi says in an examination of the data that Canada is ready for property owners to acquire and leave vacant.

“Canada also has notoriously low property tax rates AND cheap money,” Punwasi wrote. “Usually, it’s one or the other, but the combination is like asking you to hold homes vacant. It’s a country with sub 1% property taxes, a central bank pushing mortgages below 2%, and 4% inflation. You would have to be an idiot not to hold vacant property with this setup. Canada might have non-resident taxes, but they’re mostly just a PR tool to dismiss the issue. The taxes only apply to a small region, which can be avoided by investing outside of the boundary.”

Although Canada has made initiatives to reduce the number of vacant properties, such as imposing a foreign buyers tax and a 1% vacancy tax, Punwasi believes that these measures will not be effective.

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