As real estate purchases with foreign money are slowing on the mainland, they are increasing in the Capital region.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says the numbers show foreign purchases have gone up from 3% of total sales in September to 6.4%.
“I’ve already sent a note to the Finance Minister’s Chief of Staff saying you know, hey, notice the numbers are going up,” said Helps. “Can we have a conversation?”
Helps says she is watching to see if overall increases in sales are from foreign purchases or the large numbers of people moving over from Metro Vancouver.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong says implementing a 15% foreign purchase tax, like in Vancouver, is an option.
“We structured the tax in a way that would allow – if we make the decision – for a geographic area to be added and to be captured by the 15-percent tax by regulation,” he said.
“The trend line in Victoria seems to be upward. Not dramatically yet but we are watching it very carefully.”
Neither Helps, nor de Jong, say what the threshold would be for them to insist on the tax for the Victoria area.