British Columbia has undertaken a new initiative aimed at targeting money laundering and increasing transparency in the real estate market. While somewhat limited in scope, this measure follows suit with similar efforts in the United Kingdom and United States.
It will be interesting to see the effects on the real estate market in population-dense areas such as Vancouver, where 20 percent of condos built since 2016 are owned by non-residents, and foreign owners generally buy higher priced properties.
British Columbia will set up a registry to track the ownership of new condominium projects under development to crack down on tax evasion in the real estate industry, the western Canadian province said. Starting Jan. 1, developers will be required to collect and report on purchase agreements of pre-sale condominium units, including when these contracts are flipped and re-assigned to a new owner, according to an emailed statement from the Ministry of Finance. Developers must also make a "reasonable effort" to report on past transactions, according to the rules.