Vancouver’s 15% foreign buyer tax: Have your say

by Justin da Rosa29 Jul 2016
It may be one of the most divisive topics in recent memory and agents are, unsurprisingly, opinionated

How do you feel about the new tax? Take our poll today

It’s about to become more expensive for foreign buyers to purchase real estate in British Columbia, following an announcement by B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong that purchasers of Vancouver real estate who are neither citizens nor have a Canadian address will now have to pay an additional 15% sales tax.

The tax, which goes into effect August 2, has agents divided.

Many have been critical of the approach.

“How foolish and so typically ignorant of government; there are so many ways to stimulate a solution to the problem, instead they've implemented a ridiculous tax to drive the money away to be invested elsewhere,” one commenter wrote in REP’s forum. “Instead of creating opportunities and incentives they introduce penalties and negativity into the marketplace!”

Others, meanwhile, have called the move downright racist.

“They should have just put in a head tax on the Chinese or put it on title that they cannot buy in certain areas,” Scott Simmons, a B.C. agent, wrote. “Oh wait they did that 131 years ago and it's called racism. This is nothing more that modern day punitive tax on the Chinese investors.”

However, not everyone views the new tax in a negative light.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Omer Quenneville, an agent with Homeward Real Estate, recently told REP.
Quenneville, however, did question what the government plans to do with the additional income the tax will generate.


  • by JGVanier 7/29/2016 10:41:25 AM

    Prices will simply continue to rise, Investors will want to recuperate...not so good idea

  • by 7/29/2016 10:44:23 AM

    I really don't like this tax..France tried it ...well let's say it broke their economy. It's like saying " you can't by here" how foolish!!!!
    Just release more land for development, as if we don't have it. And make it a fast quick process to get permits to build. There now we have more houses to sell. Demand will drop and supply will be bountiful. Prices will drop to averages again. Don't blame the foreigner" you idiots for a government " don't even know further than your offices! We want more people with money here, keeping our purchases moving....

  • by Hot Under the Collar 7/29/2016 11:12:15 AM

    It is absolutely absurd what the government is doing to Vancouver area real estate through their foreign taxation. The knee jerk quickness of it without talking to industry experts is one confirmation. You have a product that people want which to produce create jobs, income to fuel the economy and yes....even taxes. One can foresee a slow down in condo development, thus a reversal in those previously mentioned jobs, income and taxes - oh yeah, taxes won't be an issue because they have that covered through a tax grab. I feel sorry for those retired and or on a fixed income that are relying on the value in their long owned property for retirement funds who now will see less demand. Why less demand, because the government decided that they should be forced to take it on the chin and artificially lower prices. Don't forget that a 15% tax can be negated by a devaluation of the C$, which in turn will have no effect on foreign buyers actions. Will the almighty government then raise tax to 30%. And what happens if it does in fact slow the economy on the expansion front, will the government then reduce the tax by 5% each quarter to see what happens. A little foresight and planning please. I cannot see another government in Canada - specifically Toronto, taking such a blind approach. What tax has solved a problem of this nature. Very sad that our government is so bias against foreigners coming to our country and contributing to the economic well being and growth. I have to say it is unbelievable. Lastly, don't mention other countries that have employed this tactic, it is comparing apples and oranges. Economic differences abound and cannot be compared on a face basis. We are Canada with our own set of circumstances.

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