In the last article I posted the updated numbers for the capital region as a whole, where foreign buyers accounted for about 5% of transactions on average or about 45 sales/month. Problem is, the region is a large place and it’s quite likely that buyers are concentrated into certain municipalities like Victoria proper. Well I thought that that data doesn’t exist, but it does! Turns out that in the 2017 data they’ve added not only all the Greater Victoria municipalities but also the foreign buyer sales for each one.
One caveat is that in order to protect privacy of individual transactions, the province only releases the foreign buyer counts if they are either zero, or greater than 5 in a given month. You can imagine that when you split 45 sales amongst 13 municipalities many months end up with non-releasable data in most municipalities. For example, the data for Esquimalt is greater than zero but under 5 so mostly not releasable.
|Total Transactions||Foreign Involved Transactions||Percentage Foreign Transactions|
|78||Not releasable||1.3% - 6.4%|
|87||Not releasable||1.1% - 5.7%|
|173||Not releasable||0.6% - 2.9%|
|100||Not releasable||1% - 5%|
In fact the only two municipalities with enough sales to consistently be released are Victoria and Saanich. Here they are.
Anyone else surprised that the percentage in Saanich is generally much higher than in Victoria?
Of course all of this might be on it’s last legs if the NDP push through their housing policy. MLA David Eby has been active on the housing issue for years and provides some clues on how the NDP are thinking here in this video interview with Vancouver Realtor Steve Saretsky.
Well worth a watch, but in short, according to David Eby the NDP want to:
- Keep foreign buyer tax but revise it so no one working and paying taxes in BC pays it.
- Discuss with other communities about expanding it to those areas (like Victoria). No automatic expansion of the tax except perhaps to agricultural land.
- End flipping (assignments) of pre-sale condos in the vast majority of cases.
- Expand affordable housing supply.
- Stop selling off public land to the highest bidder without specifying what must be built on it.
- Set up a tax force to investigate tax evasion in BC.
Will be interesting. In any case Happy Canada Day!