With the 15% property transfer tax now slapped on foreign non-resident buyers on real estate in greater Vancouver, the only winner going into next year’s provincial election may be government coffers .
While the cash cow transfer tax has added hundreds of millions of dollars over the past year for the Liberal government to spend on electioneering, local homebuyers have been caught in the web of having to pay more transfer tax for escalating home prices.
New tax does not address the home price problem
A tax hike for offshore non-resident buyers might have made sense, but why not do something to really make home buying for locals a little more affordable, since the provincial government professes that’s what they want to do?
Such as decreasing the amount of transfer tax local residents have to pay to offset the increase of revenue the government will reap from the new surtax.
All in all, what on the surface may look like the government addressing the home price problem is nothing more than window dressing to buy votes when we go to the polls next spring.
And if other jurisdictions that have imposed a like tax on foreign purchasers are any example, as has been levied in Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong – the tax itself may have no meaningful impact on surging home prices.