Number of foreign homebuyers up slightly in Metro Vancouver

The latest property transfer data released by the British Columbia government shows the percentage of sales involving foreign nationals in Metro Vancouver inched up between April and September.

The data shows five per cent of the 6,105 property transfers in September involved foreign nationals, up from 2.5 per cent in April.

Vancouver, foreign nationals, homebuyers
Vancouver at night. Photo by Matthew Field via Wikimedia Commons

That remains far below the percentage of foreign nationals buying homes before the former Liberal government implemented a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax in August 2016 in an effort to cool the hot housing market.

The B.C. Finance Ministry previously reported that from June 10 to Aug. 1, 2016, 13.2 per cent of all property transfer transactions in Metro Vancouver involved foreign buyers.

Despite attempts to improve housing affordability, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said in August this year that the typical price of a home in Metro Vancouver had surpassed $1 million.

The New Democrat government has said it’s reviewing transaction data along with the foreign buyers tax and an interest-free loan program for first-time homebuyers in an effort to decide whether such measures should be kept, revised or scrapped altogether.

Among municipalities, Richmond saw the highest rate of foreign buyers between April and September this year at eight per cent, while foreign buyers constituted 4.3 per cent of sales in both the city of Victoria and surrounding Capital Regional District.

The tax only applies residential real estate in Metro Vancouver.

There were a total 84,139 property transfers in B.C. between April 1 and Sept. 30. Foreign nationals were involved in 2.8 per cent of those transfers, representing more than $2 billion.


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