BC reviewing the foreign buyers’ tax

By Steve Randall
The 15% tax on many foreign home buyers in British Columbia will be reviewed along with some other government housing policy.

The province’s new housing minister Selina Robinson said Monday that policies including the interest free loans available to first time buyers would also be reviewed to assess their impact on affordability.

Ms. Robinson said there were no plans to scrap the foreign buyers’ tax at this stage but she believed that it was having less impact now than it did when it was first introduced to the Metro Vancouver market a year ago.

Prices in the market have continued to rise despite the tax and Tsur Somerville, the director of the University of British Columbia Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate told CTV News that some buyers have avoided the extra 15% by either not self-identifying as foreign buyers or by choosing presale condo which are not covered.

The new housing minister said that the proposed tax on vacant properties is also part of the policy review.

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