New Property Tax Boxes Out Foreign Buyers In Vancouver

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September 23, 2016

Foreign purchases of homes in Vancouver accounted for about one percent of all transactions in August, down from 13 percent in the seven weeks before a new policy went into effect.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in an effort to curb rising housing prices, British Columbia enacted a 15 percent property tax for foreign buyers starting on August 2. The price for an average Vancouver home rose about 31 percent in the year through August to 714,362 USD, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

British Columbia began collecting data on foreign buyers of residential real estate earlier this year, amid growing worries about Vancouver’s rapidly rising home prices. Some residents and local politicians have blamed investors from mainland China, in particular, for making homes less affordable for people who live and work in the city.

An earlier survey by the provincial government, conducted in mid-June, found that people with Chinese citizenship accounted for about 90% of all foreign real-estate purchases in Vancouver during a three-week period under review.

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