PM, B.C. premier both say no to taxing foreign investors

Both the prime minister and premier of B.C. have both ruled out taxing foreign investors in a bid to curb rising house prices in Vancouver.

Stephen Harper said the Conservative government would not introduce the measure; he also spoke of concern at the level of household debt, including mortgages in some households. He also reiterated that he believes the housing market is stable.

Separately, Christy Clark said Thursday that, although the provincial government is considering how affordability can be tackled in B.C., it will not introduce a new tax on foreign ownership.

A petition on now has 18,000 supporters calling for foreign investment in Vancouver real estate to be restricted.

With first-time buyers struggling to get a foot on the ladder Clark told CBC News that the government is “open to new ideas."

Read more about foreign ownership in Canadian real estate

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  • by Angela 2015-05-15 11:03:11 AM

    Of course our Government's will do nothing. They won't do anything until there is a backlash from Canadians that says "we've had enough" and we all know that by the time it happens, we will be sold down the the point of no return. This generation's children will have very little (if any) opportunity to own property here.

  • by MFenn 2015-05-15 11:11:20 AM

    Why would making foreigners the bogeymen - and more generally putting up taxes - help the economy to grow? It would certainly not help either investors or the economy to take measures that say: "Investors, go away!"

  • by RE Investor Guy 2015-05-15 12:39:19 PM

    I agree's funny how people complain about foreign investors when they are a major stimulus for our economy. It's not dissimilar to the huge influx of Canadian investors buying properties in Arizona over the past 5 years. In speaking with many US realtors, they are greatful that Canadians helped to prevent a further recession slip with their economy. People begin to regain lost equity as home prices increase. The difference in our situation in BC is that foreign investors are simply adding to the equity of home-owners (not pulling out of a crisis) by virtue of creating demand in the housing market.

    One thing the petitioners do not realize is the impact a foreign ownership tax would have on our economy. If you want to see the 'bubble burst' then this is the way to do it! It could have pushed the economy into recession through a major correction in the RE market. First-time home buyers may be happy with a drop in home prices, but the majority of the province (families/home-owners who hold a mortgage and/or equity-backed credit) could be in a very difficult position.

    Great decision Stephen and Christie!!

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