Vancouver, Canada has imposed a 15% property-transfer tax on all real estate purchases by foreign buyers.

In an effort to reduce foreign investment and boost local sales in Vancouver’s “feverish housing market”, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has imposed a 15% property-transfer tax on real estate buyers who are not Canadian citizens or residents, according to The Wall Street Journal’s Leigh Kamping-Carder.

Since the foreign-buyer tax took effect on August 2nd, Vancouver’s luxury sales have plunged by 57.5%, and overall home sales in greater Vancouver have fallen 30.2%. Only 62 homes in the priciest 5% of Vancouver’s housing market, priced at $3 million CAD ($2.27 million USD) or above, sold in September. Luxury home prices are largely unchanged.

Because the move was announced only a week before it took effect, and covered existing contracts, buyers with signed deals scrambled to close, said Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Vancouver-based Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. About 10.9% of all metro Vancouver sales between June 10 and Aug. 1 were registered on July 29, including 39.4% of the deals involving foreign nationals during that period, according to provincial data.

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