B.C. Government Will Not Reconsider Foreign Buyer Tax

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Following the drop in real estate sales and deceleration of price-increases in metro Vancouver, B.C. Premier Christy Clark recently told reporters that the provincial government will not reconsider the new foreign buyer tax on real estate in the area.

“The prices were going up way too fast and if we helped slow that down, that’s good,” she said.

Real estate sales in August 2016 were down 26% from August 2015, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, and detached homes saw the largest drop in sales: a startling 44.5% decrease. In August, the average price of a detached home in metro Vancouver dropped 16.7% from July to $1.47 million, while the benchmark price has increased to $1.57 million over the past twelve months. Dan Morrison, president of REBGV, claims the slump in average prices resulted from the decrease in sales of detached homes compared to other forms of housing.

While Clark claims it’s still too early to determine the foreign buyer tax’s effects on homes priced over $2 million in metro Vancouver and that changing the legislation is not an option, the B.C. government will continue to address housing affordability in the area, as well as housing supply. “We need to make it easier for first-time home buyers to get into the market and that’s not just about price,” she said.

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