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Fewer foreign buyers in Coquitlam after property tax hike

Numbers now negligible after blip in February real estate sales to foreign buyers
foreign buyers
Fewer homes were sold to foreign buyers in Coquitlam in March after the property tax was hiked from 15% to 20% in mid-February.

More foreign buyers jumped into the Coquitlam housing market in February in anticipation of the provincial government’s hike to property transfer taxes, government figures show.

The provincial government has released details of real estate transactions and how much was paid in property transfer tax from January through the end of March, 2018, and the numbers show foreign involved transactions increased to 46 in February from 13 in January while the total number of real estate transactions was 208 in February and 278 in January.

Then in March, after the property transfer tax was raised for foreign buyers to 20% from 15%, the number dropped to below five and was not recorded, according to the 2018 property tax data. However, property sales in the city remained relatively strong at 197 real estate transitions that month.

The sales to foreign buyers were all residential properties with a total value of $8.3 million in January, rising to $20.5 million in February.

Average home values for property sales to foreign buyers were $636,384 in January and $446,314 in February.

In 2017, after the B.C Liberal government implemented a 15% foreign buyers tax in 2016, foreign buyers were a small part of Coquitlam real estate deals.

May, 2017, for example, was the most robust month for foreign buyer real estate deals at 22 out of a total of 474 sales that month. That year the value of properties sold to foreign buyers ranged from a low of $565,462 in January to a high of $1.8 million in February.

So far this year there have been no real estate sales to foreign buyers or the number of sales to foreign buyers was below five in Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra, according to the most recent property transfer tax data.