Knowledge, Integrity, Humour

Blog › December 2018

How About All Those Taxes On Real Estate!

Here is a summary of all those taxes applicable to your real estate:


  • Property Transfer Tax (PTT)  -  purchasing residential property - increased to 5% (from 3%) of the purchase price for the value above $3,000,000:

  • 1% on 1st $200,000

  • 2% on balance up to $2,000,000

  • 3% on balance above $2,000,000 up to $3,000,000

  • 5% on balance above $3,000,000


  • Homeowner Grant - increased to $1.65 million



  • The City of Vancouver Empty Home Tax “EHT” became effective January 1, 2017. The Empty Home Tax is applied annually with the first taxation year beginning January 1, 2017. The tax for 2017 was payable by April 2018. The tax rate is 1% of the assessed value based on the assessment in the year the tax is paid.

  • The EHT does not apply to a home used as a principal residence or is subject to a long term tenancy agreement of at least 180 days accrued in a calendar year with a minimum of 30 day terms for the tenancies.

  • There are various exemptions for the EHT for situations such as major renovations, major illness, death of the owner, ownership of the property changed curing the previous year, strata rental restrictions that were in place prior to November 16, 2016, homes used for work orders, homes subject to a court order. Explanations for these can be found on the City of Vancouver website

  • Every residential home owner in the City of Vancouver must submit an Empty Home Declaration by February each year, whether the property is deemed vacant or not. Failure to do so will result in the City declaring the property vacant.



  • Speculation Tax –

  • The tax applies to residential properties in Capital Regional District (Victoria), Metro Vancouver Regional District excluding Bowen Island, Village of Lions Bay but including the University Endowment Lands and UBC, City of Abbotsford, District of Mission, City of Chilliwack, City of Kelowna and West Kelowna, City of Nanaimo and District of Lantzville

  • The tax will 0.5% for 2018 and 0.5 for Residents of British Columbia and Canadian Citizens and 2% for Foreign Nationals in 2019 and going forward from there.

  • All residential property owners in designated taxable regions of B.C will have to complete an annual declaration for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax to claim any relevant exemptions. Where there are multiple owners of a home, a declaration must be completed by each owner.

  • Declaration will be sent in mid-February and will be due by March 31st each year and any tax owing will be due July 2 of each year

  • Anyone who uses their home as their principal residence is exempt. For this exemption, an owner must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada who’s a B.C. resident for income tax purposes and isn’t part of a satellite family

  • Long-term rentals are exempt from the tax.

  • 2018 – Homes must be rented out for at least 3 months.

  • 2019 - Homes must be rented out for at least 6 months, in increments of 30 days or more.

  • Strata buildings with rental restrictions are exempt for 2018 and 2019 only as long as the rental bylaw was in place as of October 2018.

  • Special Case Exemptions:

    • Owner/tenant undergoing medical care, in hospital, long-term care facility

    • Owner/tenant – temporarily absent for work purposes

    • Registered owner is deceased, estate is being processed

    • All exemptions listed here


November Stats Don't Tell the Whole Story

The numbers aren't pretty for Sellers as compared with the past two years, with 24 months of inventory in West Vancouver and East and West Vancouver houses sitting at 13 months inventory. Listingss haven't been increasing drastically however, it is sales that have slowed and with it prices have seen a modest drop which is averaging around 5% overall.  Single family West Side homes have seen the greatest price adjustments, down up to 20% from the highs of 2017 in some cases.  The bulk of the market where most activity takes place--that is condos and townhomes-- has seen a balancing since June and the result is a return to more normal conditions.  Buyers can shop around and write offers with proper due diligence contingencies like home inspection.  This is a perfect market for financially qualified first time buyers and move up buyers who can likely get an accepted subject to sale offer accepted.

Below are the statistics for November sales averages.  They do not tell the whole story though.  For example the West Side condo market under $600,000. actually has only 4 months of supply: 136 active listings and 31 sales in November and half of these listings are priced between $550K and $600K.  At the entry level of the market there is still competition but far less than we have seen since 2012.  With interest rates likely to rise again in March, saavy buyers will see December and January as an opportunity to buy without competition and below the 10 historical average for activity.  Waiting for a bottom is a tricky game.  We can't see it until it has passed and the market is on the way up.  


 sales and listings statistics houses townhouses and apartments for november 2018