3 in 4 British Columbians support banning foreign real estate buyers

More than three-in-four British Columbians are in favour of banning most foreign nationals from purchasing real estate in Canada, a new Research Co. poll has found.

78% of British Columbians support having legislation similar to the one currently in place in New Zealand, while 15% are opposed and 7% are undecided, the survey of a representative provincial sample found[1]https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Tables_Housing_BC_18Jun2020.pdf.

New Zealand passed legislation that bans most foreigners from purchasing real estate in the country. There are exceptions for foreigners who hold residency status in New Zealand, as well as citizens from Australia and Singapore, due to existing free trade agreements.

“The notion of forbidding most foreigners from owning real estate in Canada is popular among all demographics in British Columbia,” Mario Canseco, President of Research Co., said. “The groups that voice the highest level of support for this change are residents of Vancouver Island (88%) and those aged 35-to-54 (also 88%).”

Public support for specific policies related to housing that were implemented by the current Government of British Columbia remains strong across the province.

Almost four-in-five British Columbians (79%) agree with the decisions to increase the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% and to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver.

Similarly high proportions of British Columbians agree with the implementation of the “speculation tax” in specific urban areas targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who pay little or no income tax in the province, and those who own second properties that are not long-term rentals (77%) and the introduction of a tax of 0.2% on the value of homes between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4% on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million (76%).

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians (72%) agree with the decision to increase the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million. The 5% portion only applies to the value greater than $3 million.

Across the province, 57% of British Columbians think the actions of the current provincial government will be “effective”, in making housing more affordable—an eight-point increase since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in December 2019[2]https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Tables_Housing_BC_03Jan2020.pdf.

More than seven-in-ten British Columbians who voted for the BC Green Party in the 2017 provincial election (72%) expect the actions of the provincial government to be effective in the area of housing affordability. This perception is more common among those who cast ballots for the BC Liberals (81%) and the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (87%).

“The nativism is gross,” YIMBY group Abundant Housing Vancouver(AHV) director Jennifer Bradshaw tweeted when this topic came up for discussion last year. “Foreign funds are providing rental stock, so basically you’re saying that we need to help locals who are able to buy a home, over locals that are only able to rent a home.”

Bradshaw acted as the financial agent for Abundant Housing Vancouver (AHV) director Adrian Crook’s campaign for Vancouver city council, which was bankrolled by Vancouver’s real estate developers.

The Research Co. poll results are based on an online study conducted from June 13 to June 15, 2020, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

References   [ + ]

1. https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Tables_Housing_BC_18Jun2020.pdf
2. https://researchco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Tables_Housing_BC_03Jan2020.pdf