Just 2.8% of home sales in Metro Vancouver went to overseas buyers between August 2, 2016 – the date of the foreign buyer tax launch – and May 31, 2017, according to data released June 28 by finance minister Mike de Jong.
According to de Jong’s June 2017 fiscal update, the proportion of Metro Vancouver sales involving foreign nationals fell from 16.5% in June 2016 – when the BC government started collecting foreign buyer data – to less than 4% in January 2017.
Only 1,375 Metro Vancouver homes out of 48,713 sold between August 2 and May 31 went to overseas buyers, who were subject to the new foreign buyer tax. Those sales were still enough to raise $102 million in revenues for the provincial coffers in the 2016/17 fiscal year.
Richmond saw the biggest total decline in share of foreign buyers, with 27.2% of total sales in June 2016, falling to 1.3% in August 2016. However, that city has also seen the biggest resurgence in overseas buyers this year, at around 10% each month since January.
Source: Ministry of Finance
The ministry’s findings jive reasonably well with a recent study released by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, which compiled monthly agent survey data that suggested foreign nationals made up just 2.3% of agent’s buyers over the past year.
Despite the low proportions of overseas buyers in the current Metro Vancouver market, home prices continue to rise. The benchmark price of a composite home (all home types) in the region, as of May 2017, up nearly 9% compared with a year ago and closing in on $1 million, now at $967,500.
The positively spun foreign buyer data comes as the BC Liberals attempt to cling on to power, with their minority government in serious danger of losing its tenuous grip in today's (June 29) confidence vote at the BC Legislature.
View finance minister Mike de Jong’s fiscal update presentation on web PDF.