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Chinese real estate agents in Metro Vancouver feel brunt of foreign buyer’s tax

‘Effect seems to be concentrated at the high-end property,” researcher says
BIV files

The 2016 amendments to the Property Transfer Tax Act — commonly referred to as the foreign buyer’s tax — have negatively impacted ethnic Chinese real estate agents in Metro Vancouver in terms of percentage of property sales and overall dollar value, according to a recent study by Roomvu. 

The study, conducted by Vancouver-based real estate analytics and marketing company Roomvu in collaboration with the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, showed that Chinese agents are selling a smaller percentage of properties compared to non-Chinese agents, and are shifting towards selling more condos than single-family homes, said a news release. 

“[The report] shows an effect on the market and who is buying property, and that effect seems to be concentrated at the high-end property,” said Thomas Davidoff, economist and professor at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. “Ethnic Chinese agents appear to be suffering both in dollars and sales. The dollar impact being significantly more than sales.”

The study’s findings are based on data from over 300,000 listings from the MLS database from properties sold in the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, Metro Vancouver and Northern B.C. The study’s authors also cite federal changes to mortgage rules and the 2018 foreign buyer’s tax rate increase from 15 to 20% as compounding factors. 

The full study can be found here: