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

Mission proposes big jump in business licence fees

Some companies could go from $148 to $10,000 per year

Two charged in relation to 2017 house-party shooting

Four people were injured in incident a year ago in Abbotsford

Work starts for a wider, safer highway from Maple Ridge to Mission

Upgrades part of a $70-million strategy for the Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge and Mission corridor.

Man convicted last month for drugs and guns found guilty of another 10 charges

Corey Perkins of Abbotsford concludes second trial in less than a month

Mission School Board votes to reopen Stave Falls Elementary

Will open in 2019 as a K-6 school with an outdoor, forestry and cultural program of choice focus

VIDEO: Climber ‘catches the sunrise’ over city atop B.C. crane

Police warn ‘rooftopping’ poses risk to climber, public and first responders

VIDEO: ‘Big time disappointment’ as Vancouver Giants fall to undermanned Kelowna Rockets

Head coach Jason McKee very unhappy with effort in Giants’ regular season home finale

Salmon Arm community cheers on Natalie Wilkie as she wins first gold medal

Local skier tops the podium in 7.5km race at the PyeongChang Paralympics

Experts: Society has a role in trying to prevent domestic violence

Experts are speaking out following the murder of a woman and her son in Ontario

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Northern lights chasers in Canada discover new type named ‘Steve’

Phenomenon linked to a powerful current created by charged particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere

Delta South MLA calls high-speed rail study a ‘crazy announcement’

‘You’d be better off to move to Seattle’ than to travel to Vancouver from the Lower Mainland

Washington state backs B.C. in pipeline dispute

Governor Jay Inslee says he is ‘allied’ with the province on Trans Mountain expansion projection

SAY WHAT? Readers weigh in on high-speed rail to U.S.

B.C. to contribute $300,000 to a million-dollar business study on the proposed project

Most Read