New data shows higher percentage of foreign home buyers in B.C.
Published Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:12AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 26, 2016 2:33PM PDT
A larger data set on B.C. real estate transactions seems to show more properties are being snapped up by foreign buyers than previously thought.
A total of 6.6 per cent of B.C. real estate transactions made over a five week period were by foreign buyers, according to new data released by the government – a number that is exactly double that of the Ministry of Finance’s initial data set.
The second data set was collected from a five week period running June 10 to July 14, and was released Tuesday morning in Victoria by Finance Minister Mike de Jong.
The new numbers suggest that the initial data collected over a 19-day period in June may have underestimated the number of foreign investors in B.C., which was originally listed at 3.3 per cent.
The updated data showed that $885-million in foreign cash flowed into Metro Vancouver's residential real estate within the five week period. This represented 86 per cent of the capital invested in the sector by foreign purchasers throughout B.C., according to de Jong.
The average investment by non‐foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver was $911,425, while the average investment by a foreign buyer was $946,945.
Further, nearly 10 per cent of property transfer taxes in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals, compared to 18.2 per cent in Richmond, 17. 7 per cent in Burnaby, 10.9 per cent in Vancouver, and 8.4 per cent in Surrey.
The first data set suggested that 5.1 per cent of real estate transactions in Metro Vancouver involved foreign nationals.
The updated information comes a day after the Liberal government announced an additional 15 per cent property transfer tax on Metro Vancouver homes purchased by foreign nationals.
"After Aug. 2, there will be a significant tax disadvantage to foreign nationals," de Jong said.
Many have blamed offshore ownership for sky-high home prices and a near-zero vacancy rate in parts of B.C. and de Jong says, over the last two months, number crunchers have gained an increasingly clear picture of the issue.
With files from The Canadian Press