Changes to the Property Transfer Tax Program

The BC Minister of Finance has announced several changes to the Property Transfer Tax program, effective Feb 17, 2016, which include:

  • a property transfer tax exemption for Canadian citizens and permanent residents who purchase NEWLY-built homes (not resale homes), condos and townhouses under $750,000.  Purchasers must live in the property for at least one year. This is a potential savings in closing costs of up to $13,000;
  • a partial exemption is available  where the fair market value is over $750,000 but less than $800,000. If the price is $800,000 or more, PTT is payable on the entire price.
  • a one percent increase in property transfer tax to three percent for homes which are sold over the $2 million mark:

1% on the first $200,000,
2% on portion between $200,001 and $2 million,
3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000.

  • this rule also applies to commercial property purchase;
  • the first time home buyers exemption will remain in place for homes under $475,000;
  • buyers will need to start disclosing their country of residence in all property transactions;
  • the beneficial ownership of properties held by corporations will also be tracked;
  • the Ministry will send a letter to the purchaser at the end of the year to confirm compliance.

For more information, visit the BC government’s website.