Foreign buyers make up 3% of Metro Vancouver real estate sales in October

About $115 million worth of home sales involved foreign nationals, data show

Foreign buyers bought three per cent of residential properties that changed hands in Metro Vancouver in October, the latest figures from the B.C. government show.

That’s higher than the 1.8-per-cent rate in September, but still lower than the 13.2-per-cent rate before the province imposed a 15-per-cent tax on residential property purchased in Metro Vancouver by non-Canadian citizens or residents in August.

About 140 home sales, worth about $115 million, involved foreign nationals in October in the region, according to data released Tuesday. That’s out of a total of about 4,700 home sales, valued at $3.6 billion.

Elsewhere in B.C., foreign buyers made up about 2.9 per cent of all residential purchases, worth a combined $129 million.

Foreign buyers accounted for 0.9 per cent of sales in Surrey in October, 2.5 per cent in Vancouver, 5.9 per cent in Burnaby and 6.7 per cent in Richmond.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said his ministry has been closely watching Squamish, the Fraser Valley and southern Vancouver Island to gauge whether the Metro-only tax spurs more foreign buying in other regions.

The latest numbers show foreign buyers made up 6.3 per cent of transactions in the Capital Regional District.

“The data suggests we haven’t seen a lot of drift into Squamish or Abbotsford,” de Jong said. “The trendline in victoria seems to be upward. Not dramatically. But we’re watching it carefully.”

He noted the foreign buyers tax legislation allows the government to adjust the rate or apply it to new regions at any time via regulation.

As for the jump in foreign buying since September, finance ministry officials noted a significant number of foreign purchases are thought to have shifted ahead of the August introduction of the new tax in order to avoid it. As a result, a rebound from low levels in August-September towards a new normal was considered likely.

From Aug. 2 to Nov. 14, the province has collected $36 million from 431 foreign purchasers. More than 200 audits have been opened to determine if the tax has been correctly paid.

The finance ministry now says the the tax is likely to generate much less money than the $165 million a year in new annual revenue previously projected.

Just Posted

Victoria painter splashes some colour on a dreary situation

Six-week long James Bay construction project gives Teresa Waclawik an impromptu canvas

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

U-Bicycle plans to ride into Esquimalt

Dockless bike share service launched last fall in Victoria, aims to spread across CRD

Saanich Police speed reader board stolen

Traffic safety device taken from the 4700 block of Interurban Road

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

City of Victoria seeks artists to contribute to upcoming public exhibitions

Submissions for Commercial Alley gallery, bus shelter project due by April 9

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rescued Comox canoer credits those ‘at the right place, at the right time’

James Milne was rescued in a hypothermic state Sunday near Goose Spit

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

Most Read