The B.C. government is out with its latest set of data on foreign buyers in the province.
In the time frame from August 2 to August 31, when the foreign buyer tax came into effect, the province says 60 deals involving nationals were done.
The total value of those deals were $46.9 million, which amounts to $2.5 million in additional property transfer tax revenue.
They note that $850 million worth of deals involving foreign nationals in the province were done on July 29, the last business day before the tax took effect.
Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and Burnaby all saw declines in foreign buyer activity across the board, while outside Metro Vancouver the decline in foreign sales was a mere two per cent.
They also caution that more time is needed in the months of September, October, and November before they determine what effect the levy will have.
NDP’s housing critic weighs in
“I feel like the government is like George Bush, hanging up the mission accomplished banner. If they think they’ve done the job, they’re sadly mistaken.”
Matt Lee reports, the province still faces a number of problems on foreign buyers.
David Eby says just because foreign buyer activity has plummeted, it doesn’t mean the province has solved the real estate crisis in Metro Vancouver.
“The reality is, as we well know, that there are very sophisticated tax evasion schemes operating in the Metro Vancouver real estate market. In addition, we also know that a significant portion of money comes in through permanent residents and citizens.”
Eby also says he finds it interesting the province says new auditors are reviewing the transactions; he calls it a “joke,” given the finance minister announced in July the province hadn’t hired additional auditors for the foreign buyers tax.