In B.C. you’re a foreign buyer
March 08, 2018
Under new legislation from the NDP provincial government, any Canadians outside of British Columbia purchasing recreational property are considered foreign homebuyers and will be subject to punitive taxation.
The “speculation tax” introduced with the February 20 provincial budget targets any non-provincial residents who own second homes, such as a ski condo or a lake country cottage, but who do not live full time in British Columbia.
The tax will apply to foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., focusing on those who leave their properties vacant—a common occurrence with seasonal owners.
By 2019, the tax rate will be 2 per cent of the assessed value and expand to properties not only in the Lower Mainland, but also Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna.
With an average price of $500,000 for a recreational property, the tax could easily surpass $10,000 per year, explained Anne McMullin, CEO of the Urban Development Institute, Pacific Region.
She explained about 15 per cent of home sales in Kelowna are from people in Alberta purchasing recreational properties. Other owners of recreational property in the Okanagan area are from Ontario and other foreign jurisdictions.
“I don't think curbing the sale of homes to Canadians who want to vacation in Kelowna addresses the Lower Mainland’s housing affordability issue,” McMullin said.