Charging stations latest cost for new condo buyers

Mandatory EV plug-ins latest in myriad of costs borne by Vancouver new condo buyers

Western Investor
May 30, 2018

electric car charge


Three hundred dollars isn’t much but the mandatory cost for an electric vehicle (EV) charging station is the latest ding in government fees and regulations that now add more than $220,000 to the cost of a typical new Vancouver condominium, according to industry studies.

Last year electric vehicle represented 0.9 per cent of total vehicle sales in British Columbia and they make up just 0.2 per cent of vehicles on B.C. roads, according to Statistics Canada and Fleetcarma data. Yet, starting in 2019, 100 per cent of new condo buyers in Vancouver will pay to have an electric car charging station installed in their parking garage.

Anne McMullin, president and CEO of the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region wonders why condo buyers should pay for something that benefits a utility, and electric vehicle manufacturers.

The answer is apparently blowing in the hurricane of add-on costs buffeting buyers in Canada’s most expensive housing market.

Western Investor reported that government taxes and fees now total more than 26 per cent, or $220,256 of the total $840,000 cost of a typical new 700-square-foot-Vancouver condo apartment, according to appraisal and tax expert Paul Sullivan, a senior partner at Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan and Associates Ltd.

Sullivan presented his analysis to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Housing Forum 2018, held May 25.

Sullivan’s analysis includes City of Vancouver municipal fees, charges and taxes, the new and increased provincial tax measures on home sales, Metro Vancouver’s increased regional water and sewer charges, TransLink’s new regional development cost charge for transit, delays in getting permit approvals and the federal GST.

Fees and charges can range depending on where a project is located, with downtown Vancouver projects facing even higher charges. For the purpose of the analysis, the announced provincial Speculation Tax was included, pending details of the specific legislation expected later in 2018.

The foreign-buyer tax, payroll taxes on labour and taxes on materials were not included in the breakdown.

McMullin noted that while the mandatory charging stations aren’t included until January 1, 2019, she is concerned that condo buyers are again expected to foot the bill.

“If electric vehicles are expected to increase in popularity as predicted, then it would certainly make sense to have BC Hydro provide the infrastructure to residents recouped through the rate, much like a gas station company would,” she suggested.

Frank O'Brien is the editor of Western Canada's biggest commercial real estate newspaper, Western Investor, as well as a contributing editor at West Coast Condominium, real estate contributor to Business in Vancouver and a regular media commentator on real estate investment.
Copyright © Western Investor

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