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BC foreign buyers tax begins

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Metro Vancouver is going to wake up to a different real estate landscape Tuesday.

A new 15 per cent foreign buyer property transfer tax takes effect after the BC Day long weekend.

NEWS 1130 legal analyst Michael Shapray says this legislation seems to have been pushed through quickly and without public input.

“I think the government is likely to face lawsuits or challenges to the legislation itself. There may be lawsuits for people whose deal goes sideways as a result of not recognizing contracts that have been entered into,” Shapray says.

Anyone in the middle of selling their home to a foreign national may see the largest immediate impact. Sales already in progress before the start of the August 2nd legislation are not exempt from the tax.

Shapray says there is going to be a lot of uncertainty for a while yet.

“There is going to be a lot of impact on deals that are closing in the next month or two and we’ll see how that plays out. But, I also think we’re going to see this tax being litigated in the courts over the next months, and if not, years.”

Shapray says some people are looking at whether this tax violates the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The sale of a $2-million dollar home to a foreign buyer will amount to about $300,000 in tax.

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