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Available Expert - BC to introduce property transfer tax on foreign buyers

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Queen's University real estate expert John Andrew is available to comment on the announcement that the Government of British Columbia has introduced an additional 15% property transfer tax (PTT) for foreign buyers of real estate in Metro Vancouver, in response to the rapidly growing cost of property in the city. On a fairly typical home of $2 million, this amounts to an additional $300,000, on top of the provincial PTT already applicable to all buyers. 

"The new property transfer tax is intended to cool the overheated real estate market in Vancouver and is in response to tremendous public pressure to respond to a high level of foreign investment which, many people believe, is at least partially responsible for soaring real estate prices in that city," says Dr. Andrew. "It is a dramatic and unprecedented step, which may soon be paired with a city-imposed tax on vacant properties."

Dr. Andrew says that time will tell if the tax is effective in slowing the rate of price increases and if it will impact foreign investment. He says actually implementing the tax could pose additional challenges, as no level of government has a good system to track foreign investment and who actually owns the home.

"There have been anecdotal examples of multi-million dollar homes being put in the names of Canadian citizens - in some cases university students - earning very low incomes, who could not possibly afford those homes," says Dr. Andrew.

Dr. John Andrew is a continuing adjunct assistant professor at Queen's university and the director of the Queen's Real Estate Roundtable. He is available for media on July 26, 2016.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.caat Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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