Dramatic drop in buyers

The British Columbia government says the rate of foreign investment in Metro Vancouver real estate has fallen to 1.3 per cent since the introduction of a new tax targeting international buyers.

The drop is dramatic compared with the seven-week period before the tax was introduced when foreign buyers accounted for 13.2 per cent of the residential purchases in Metro Vancouver.

The province brought in a 15-per-cent property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver on Aug. 2 in an effort to cool one of the hottest housing markets in North America.

Between Aug. 2 and Sept. 30, the rate of foreign investment in residential real estate in Metro Vancouver was 1.3 per cent, slightly less than the provincial average of 1.7 per cent.

Since the 15 per cent levy was introduced, the government says it has received $10.1 million in additional taxes paid.

The province says it's unclear how many transactions that would have occurred in August or September were rushed to be completed in July, and data from the coming months will provide a more accurate picture of how the market is changing.

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