The number of foreign buyers purchasing real estate in the Tri-Cities has fallen dramatically since the introduction of the provincial government’s 15% foreign buyers tax last summer.
In the seven weeks prior to the implementation of the tax, foreign nationals made up 11.6% of all real estate purchases in Coquitlam, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam, according to data recently obtained by The Tri-City News through a Freedom of Information request.
But the figures have plummeted since Aug. 1, 2016, with only 93 foreign buyers out of 3,377 transactions (2.8%) in the three communities.
The change has been the most significant in Coquitlam.
In the Tri-Cities’ largest municipality, 15.2% of real estate purchases were conducted by foreign buyers prior to the tax, a number that has dropped to 4.4% since. Port Moody fell from 11.2% to 1%, while PoCo dropped from 6.4% to 0.8%.
The data also showed that foreign buyers made up a larger percentage of the total value of real estate that changed hands between June 10 and Aug. 1, 2016.
In Coquitlam, foreign nationals made up 17.9% of the value of all property transfers while the figure was 11.2% in Port Moody and 6.4% in Port Coquitlam.
But from Aug. 2 to Feb. 28, foreign buyers made up 2.9% of the total value of all transactions in the Tri-Cities.
The percentages in the Tri-Cities are well below many other Lower Mainland communities.
In Richmond, for example, foreign buyers accounted for 27% of all real estate transactions in the seven weeks leading up to the introduction of the foreign buyers tax while Burnaby and West Vancouver were at 24%.
Across Metro Vancouver, 16.5% of real estate dollars that changed hands involved foreign buyers prior to Aug. 1, 2016.