How does the BC Foreign Buyer Tax affect Whistler and Pemberton?

August 4, 2016

This month the BC government introduced a 15% foreign buyer tax, aimed at slowing the foreign speculation that many blame for increasing house prices in the region.

Although the tax has only been made effective in the Vancouver area, there have been a lot of questions from buyers in nearby locations. We’re here to answer some of those questions now.

Q: Is Whistler affected?

A: The tax does not affect Whistler or Pemberton at this time and we will continue to keep you up to date with all legislature that affects the area.

Q: Will this change implicate the affordability of properties in the area?

A: Non-resident buyers have represented 12-20% of our market for many years. Their activity has not affected affordability in any measurable way as they are generally interested in properties that would not be defined as residential.

Non-resident interest seems to fluctuate primarily based on issues such as exchange rates, the general economy of Canada and/or their native country, and their perception of Whistler as a resort area.

Q: What about those looking for property investment?

A: Most, if not all purchases in Whistler are motivated by personal lifestyle considerations and expectation of long term appreciation, not cash flow or short term speculation.

Q: Will there be immediate changes to the market?

A: If non-resident buyers begin exploring areas outside of Metro Vancouver for real estate investment there are a lot of choices, and it should not be assumed that they would think Whistler is the best opportunity for them.

There may be some increased interest but new buyers to the area will certainly need to time to educate themselves in regards to the opportunities, risks and rewards of the marketplace so any change can be expected to be slow.

Q: What are your predictions?

A: There are always going to be ‘one off’ stories that come to light and some will want to hang a theory or a conclusion on. It is however, a little early to tell what the impact of this will be conclusively for Whistler

We will of course be monitoring this as it develops and should we see conclusive, backed-up facts, or changes in the operation of the market we will be the first to inform everyone.


For more information, feel free to get in touch with one of our agents.

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