VANCOUVER — Foreign nationals who buy real estate in Metro Vancouver would pay an additional property transfer tax of 15 per cent under legislation being brought in today by the British Columbia government.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong introduced the tax as part of legislation aimed at addressing low vacancy rates and high real estate prices in southern B.C.
The government says the additional tax will take effect Aug. 2 and will apply to foreign buyers registering the purchase of residential homes in Metro Vancouver, excluding treaty lands in the Tsawwassen First Nation.
De Jong says the additional tax on a $2-million home would amount to $300,000.
He says recent government housing data indicates foreign nationals spent more than $1 billion on B.C. property between June 10 and July 14, with 86 per cent being made on purchases in the Lower Mainland area.
The legislative package would also enable the City of Vancouver to amend its community charter in order to levy a vacancy tax.
Last May, de Jong said he wasn’t in favour of a tax on foreign investment, saying he worried it would send the wrong message to Asia-Pacific investors.