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The Better Dwelling.com folks  describe it here:  “You get a Vancouver address, live in one of the city’s nicest neighborhoods, and use most of the city’s resources– but technically you don’t live in the City of Vancouver. We’re talking about The University Endowment Lands (UEL), an area 1/10th the size of Vancouver that consumes the majority of the city’s coastline, but is administered independently. This means that despite having a Vancouver address, homes there are exempt from the recent vacancy tax”.

The UEL is that tony leafy suburb area the transit bus wends through on its voyage from Alma Street to UBC on the west. Even though it receives City of Vancouver services under contract, it is administered by the Province not the City of Vancouver, which may also be why the taxes are also lower. As Better Dwelling states ” Annual property taxes are roughly 30% lower in UEL than in the city of Vancouver. Great for real estate investors in the UEL, since property values there are really high”.

The  properties under the governance of the Province in the UEL are largely freehold, and average property values are in the over $6,500,000 level. An annual vacancy tax at 1 per cent of that value would be in the $65,000 range. A study conducted by Andy Yan, Director of the SFU City Program suggests that 88% of houses here are foreign-owned.

Taxes in Vancouver and the UEL are supposed to be similar although the taxes in the UEL are classified as a rural tax. There is an interesting and complex history to how these taxes are managed. Some would argue that with museums, access to pathways and beaches, and extraordinary views this is indeed the place to live as well as to study. With no worry about the Vancouver vacancy tax.

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