In light of a recent tax announced by the government to target foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver’s hot real estate market, the rush is on for lawyers to move up purchase dates.
Lawyers are scrambling so that foreigners can avoid the additional 15 per cent punitive tax.
Real Estate Lawyer Richard Bell says his firm only gets about two or three requests per month to move up purchase dates, under normal circumstances.
“We will have had dozens of requests for a movement of date as a result of the 15 per cent tax.”
Non-stop calls and questions for real estate firms
Bell says that in less than 48 hours his phone has been ringing non-stop, and he’s sure his firm isn’t the only one.
“Every law firm that does real estate conveyancing is scrambling to keep the client from having to pay that additional 15 per cent if they are foreign nationals.”
Winston Kam with Winright Law is also feeling the heat.
“We have been trying to take as many as we can but at the end of the day, if we don’t have any time, then we just don’t have any time.”
Working together to meet the growing demand
Both Lawyers says they have been working with other firms to meet the unusual demand.
“They’re asking what happens in the event that purchasers are unable to complete, a number of them have spoken to us about issues arising from the fact their mortgages won’t be able to cover the increase of property transfer tax,” Kam says.
Bell says 95 per cent of the clients he has taken on are purchasing homes in Vancouver, with an average home price of $2.5 million.
The tax kicks in on August second.