Mark Collins – Mainland Chinese Buying-Up Vancouver: A Taxing Issue

Further to this post, there is push back both in this country and in China:

Chinese-language media up in arms over B.C. foreign buyer tax

Vancouver’s surprising new property-purchase tax for foreigners has generated a storm of coverage in Chinese-language media both in Vancouver and in China itself, with articles warning of dramatic new costs, analyzing the political motives of the B.C. Liberal Party and predicting a host of negative outcomes.

“The new tax is nothing but the ruling party of British Columbia soliciting votes for the election held next spring. It won’t cool down the enthusiasm of foreign buyers,” Ou Lyu wrote in the Global Times, a Beijing newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party-owned People’s Daily,

Premier Christy Clark announced on Monday [July 25] that buyers of Metro Vancouver real estate who are foreign nationals or foreign-controlled corporations would have to pay an additional 15 per cent property transfer tax beginning on Aug. 2., a comprehensive financial website in China, warned that the new tax policy would dramatically increase the cost of buying.

The site summarized the four reasons that Chinese buyers are keen to purchase properties overseas: their children’s education, the desire to immigrate, the mania for owning houses and speculation. “Few will now buy for speculation purposes because the cost will increase by 15 per cent,” the site’s writer maintained. “However, for people who buy properties for the purpose of immigration, the new tax will be nothing to them. Because they are all billionaires.”

XinKauiBao, a newspaper based in Guangzhou, also warned about the impact, comparing it to similar taxes in Australia and Hong Kong.

On the other hand, China News Service, also owned by the government, was skeptical about whether the tax would slow down offshore buying in Vancouver. “It is premature to speculate on the outcome of this change in policy,” according to writer Changan Xu.

But it was journalists and commentators in Vancouver who were the toughest on the new tax and who gave it the most coverage…

As for Chinese-language media in Canada (and elsewhere):

The Dragon vs the Press: Covert (Canada); Overt (Hong Kong)

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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