Near collapse in foreign buying of Metro Vancouver real estate
The number of foreign buyers purchasing real estate in British Columbia dramatically dropped after the government instituted a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax on Aug. 2, new figures show.
The Ministry of Finance figures show an almost total collapse in the foreign buyer real estate purchases in Metro Vancouver, from 1,974 sales valued at $2.3 billion during June 10-Aug.1, to only 60 sales worth $46.9 million.
The data suggests an almost 97 per cent drop in the number of foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver after the tax came into effect.
The time periods are not directly comparable in terms of the number of days, but were the only figures provided by the government on Thursday.
There was also a Lower Mainland breakdown for the same periods of June 10-Aug.1 versus Aug. 2-31:
• In Vancouver, foreign sales fell from 508 to 14. The value of those foreign deals fell from $733 million to $11 million.
• In Richmond, foreign sales fell from 310 to 10. The value of those foreign deals fell from $335 million to $6.4 million.
• In Surrey, foreign sales fell from 318 to 10. The value of those foreign deals fell from $312 million to $6.7 million.
• In Burnaby, foreign sales fell from 262 to 5. The value of those foreign deals fell from $221 million to $2.1 million.
The Finance Ministry cautioned that it was too soon to gauge the true impact of the tax, because the land title registry showed a massive rush to close real estate deals before the new tax deadline.
On July 29, the government said more than $850 million in residential property deals involving foreigners were recorded, which was equal to more than 55 per cent of all sales in Metro Vancouver that day and almost 40 per cent of the total amount of foreign deals since June 10.
The government said it’s auditors are now reviewing the deals to see if they were structured to avoid taxes.
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