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Blog › July 2016

Liberal Government Hits Foreign Buyers With 15% Transfer Tax

Clarification on the foreign buyer tax

We’ve had questions regarding who'll be exempt from this tax. You’ll be exempt from paying the new tax if you:

• Are a Canadian citizen, even if you live abroad; or

• Are legally classified as a “permanent resident” - someone who’s been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents will have a valid permanent resident card issued by the Canadian government. Click here for more information on permanent residency.

We’ve also clarified this information in the below article we sent you earlier today. 

Government to introduce a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax effective August 2

The provincial government will implement a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax on all residential transactions effective August 2, 2016. The tax will be added to the Property Transfer Tax and will apply to all residential properties purchased by foreign nationals or foreign-controlled corporations.

The new tax will be payable on applicable transfers registered with the Land Title Office on or after August 2 regardless of when the deal was completed.

The tax will apply to any transferee that is a foreign national, foreign corporation, or taxable trustee. Foreign nationals are defined as people who aren’t Canadian citizens or don’t have permanent resident status in Canada. (Permanent residents will have a valid permanent resident card issued by the Canadian government.)

“Housing affordability concerns all of us who live in the region. Implementing a new real estate tax, however, with just eight days’ notice and no consultation with the professionals who serve home buyers and sellers every day needlessly injects uncertainty into the market,” Dan Morrison, Board president said. “Government has had a long time to take action on the affordability issue, yet they decide to bring this new tax in over a long weekend, with no notice, and no time to prepare. It would have been prudent to seek consultation from the people most knowledgeable about the impact.”

Under the new tax, for example, a foreign buyer or foreign-controlled entity will pay an additional $300,000 in tax on a $2 million home.

“To minimize short-term volatility in the market, we’re calling on government to exempt real estate transactions that are in the process of closing from this new tax,” Morrison said.  

Foreign corporations are any corporation not incorporated in Canada, or are incorporated in Canada but controlled in part, or wholly, by a foreign national or corporation. Publicly traded companies are excluded.

Commercial properties are excluded, and mixed-use properties will only pay the tax on the portion of the property’s value that’s for residential use.

For more information:

Read the government announcement here.

Read the government’s tax information sheet here.

We’ll continue to share information with you on this development as we learn more.


June Review of Market Conditions

June Recap

Home buyers remain active across Metro Vancouver

Home buyers continue to compete for homes listed for sale across the Metro Vancouver housing market. 

Residential property sales in the region totalled 4,400 in June 2016, an increase of 0.6 per cent from the 4,375 sales recorded in June 2015 and a decrease of 7.7 per cent compared to May 2016 when 4,769 homes sold.

Last month’s sales were 28.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month and rank as the highest selling June on record.

"While we're starting to see more properties coming onto the market in recent months, the imbalance between supply and demand continues to influence market conditions," Dan Morrison REBGV president said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,875 in June 2016. This represents an increase of 1.2 per cent compared to the 5,803 units listed in June 2015 and a 6.6 per cent decrease compared to May 2016 when 6,289 properties were listed.

“Since March, we’ve seen more homes listed for sale in our market than in any other four-month period this decade,” Morrison said.  

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the MLS® system in Metro Vancouver is 7,812, a 35.9 per cent decline compared to June 2015 (12,181) and a 1.1 per cent increase compared to May 2016 (7,726).

The sales-to-active listings ratio for June 2016 is 56.3 per cent. While clearly indicative of a seller’s market, this is the lowest this measure has been since February.

Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches the 20 to 22 per cent range in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $917,800. This represents a 32.1 per cent increase compared to June 2015.

Sales of detached properties in June 2016 reached 1,562, a decrease of 18.6 per cent from the 1,920 detached sales recorded in June 2015. The benchmark price for detached properties increased 38.7 per cent from June 2015 to $1,561,500.

Sales of apartment properties reached 2,108 in June 2016, an increase of 18.8 per cent compared to the 1,774 sales in June 2015.The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 25.3 per cent from June 2015 to $501,100.

Attached property sales in June 2016 totalled 730, an increase of 7.2 per cent compared to the 681 sales in June 2015. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 28.1 per cent from June 2015 to $656,900.

Download complete stats package.