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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicle ends up upside-down in creek along Happy Valley Road

One motorist in care of emergency services

Saanich mayor joins fight to protect local wildlife from rat poisoning after second owl dies

Mayor Fred Haynes to meet with provincial, federal pest control industry representatives

Greater Victoria writer releases first novel inspired by U.S. school shootings

Dear Mr. President tells thought provoking story of victims left behind

Sidney fire responds to fewer but more severe calls during pandemic

Rise in severity linked to changes in routine during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read