The industry has its say

by Justin da Rosa05 Aug 2016
We asked our readers what they think about the new 15% tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver. The results are in – and they may surprise you.

It’s the hottest topic in real estate currently, and for good reason – the barrier set up to deter foreigners from purchasing red hot Vancouver real estate could potentially change the landscape of Canadian housing.

Industry players have provided arguments for and against the tax, but we now have a barometer to determine how the industry as a whole feels about it.

Agents responded in droves, and these are the results.

All told, more than 300 real estate agents took part. We asked if Vancouver’s 15% tax on foreigners purchasing real estate was good or bad for that market.

The slight majority – 47% -- said it’s a good thing. The prevailing sentiment among those is that foreigners are inflating Vancouver’s real estate market, and that this barrier will likely help cool the market, and make it easier for citizens – many of whom have been priced out -- to get into the housing market.

However, 44% of respondents said it’s a bad thing.

Arguments against the tax range from the view that it unfairly targets those without a Canadian address or citizenship who want to call Canada home.

Others argue the tax unfairly penalizes foreign buyers who purchased prior – and close after -- the implementation date; even if those homes were pre-bought years ago.

And then there is a smaller camp of agents who are undecided. 9% of voters chose this option, likely due to the fact that the long-term impact will not be known for quite some time.


  • by Realtor 8/5/2016 10:46:20 AM

    The tax is a good thing, BUT the way it was brought in is a BAD thing. There was no warning, no grandfathering nothing. The results are going to have a negative impact on any contracts no closed yet. The sad part is what happens to the Sellers of that property, who were probably residents of Canada, they most likely went on to write an offer and purchase a property based on their sale. They won't be able to close and thus creates a domino effect.... the people they bought from will be in the same situation etc..... I agree with the tax, but not how it came on with no warning or empathy for people who have now been induced by the government to break their legally binding contracts.

  • by 8/5/2016 11:55:29 AM

    I am a realtor form another province and I don't do business in the Vancouver market place, however to phase in this new tax would be much more appropriate so Buyers and Sellers would have been aware before they enter into a binding, contract rather than creating huge difficulty for deals that are already underway.

  • by Shawn Laghai 8/5/2016 12:07:03 PM

    Hi to all
    The politicians behind this tax have no clue about how easy is to have an address in Canada.
    Relative, Friends or even the Real Estate salesperson may allow them to use their address.
    Even if 15% tax works, it is a fast solution to the problem, like bandage to a butcher knife cut.
    What happens when the economy will change and we need the foreigners to invest in Canada?
    We have to find a better way to find out who the foreigners are. One way is, to find out who is buying property without financing, since the foreigners cannot get financing so easy.
    We have to respect them and thank them, and then make sure that foreigners pay their income and capital gain taxes according to Canada Revenue roles and regulations.

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