Townhouses under construction in Metro Vancouver.

Government shrugs off foreign real estate fallout

Construction industry disruption expected as new tax threatens deals, says Finance Minister Mike de Jong

Premier Christy Clark and her ministers aren’t concerned about a backlash or downturn in B.C.’s hot urban real estate market from their sudden decision to impose a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver.

Housing Minister Rich Coleman said Wednesday the development industry was “taken aback and a bit grumpy” after Premier Christy Clark announced Monday that the new tax takes effect Aug. 2.

Clark confirmed Wednesday that there would be no exemptions to the new tax for real estate sales that were signed but not registered before the deadline. That includes pre-sold condos that were purchased before construction, if they are going to buyers who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong said tax changes are generally done on short notice, and the government expected there would be some cancelled sales as a result. But the purpose of the tax was to discourage foreign sales and replace them with sales to B.C. residents, he said.

“Part of it relates to the fact that properties going on the market are being scooped up so quickly.” de Jong said. “This disruption, this change is taking place in a market where there is incredibly strong domestic demand.”

The government intends to put the revenue from the foreign buyer tax into a housing affordability fund, but Coleman said there will be no return to government directly building social housing projects.

New initiatives will be announced in September, with incentives for builders to create more rental housing. The province already provides rent subsidies to 20,000 families to keep them in market housing, and that approach has better results than concentrating low-income people in government housing, Coleman said.

 

Just Posted

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

Tommy Chong says Canada took wrong approach to pot legalization

He also talked about the likelihood of another Cheech and Chong film

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

Lower-than-expected parcel volumes helping cut into backlog, says Canada Post

The Crown corporation says that’s largely because it is taking in fewer holiday parcels than expected

Trapped B.C. crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Vancouver police make arrest in hit and run that killed skateboarder

Charges stem from a two-year investigation into the April 17 death of 30-year-old Ryan Barron

5 to start your day

Powerful winds anticipated in Lower Mainland, Chilliwack company facing charges in chicken abuse case and more

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Woman dies after being struck by bus in Burnaby

RCMP officers from the traffic and collision teams are investigating

Most Read