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Residential Market Commentary - week of January 30, 2017

Jan 30, 2017, 12:02 PM by Joelle Park

The apparent “success” of Vancouver’s foreign buyer tax and the city’s decision to implement a so-called vacancy tax appears to have other Canadian municipalities looking at adding to their pool of taxation options.

Victoria, B.C. is now considering exactly the same measures: a foreign buyer tax and a vacant residence tax.  Council will debate the proposals later this month.

There has been an increase in the foreign buyer activity in Victoria since the Vancouver tax was implemented in August.  In October about 6.3% of transactions involved foreign buyers, up from 3.2% in September.

December figures from the Victoria Real Estate Board show the price of a detached, single-family home jumped nearly 24% from 2015 to 2016.  The number of transactions for 2016 was at its highest level since 1991.

In Ontario the provincial government recently withdrew the requirement for property tax rebates on vacant business properties. Both Toronto and Hamilton are looking at changes.