A portion of Property Transfer Tax revenue funds rental housing in BC

PTT revenue funds largest housing investment in BC history

Revenue from the Property Transfer Tax (PTT) – a key obstacle to affordable home ownership – is forecast to reach more than $2.2 billion in 2016/17.

With this revenue windfall, instead of giving home buyers a break on the PTT, the government will use $500 million of it to fund the creation of 2,900 rental units.

“We’re taking meaningful steps to address housing affordability challenges in BC,” said Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Responsible for Housing, in a government press release.

This is the largest affordable housing investment in BC’s history and the largest housing investment in a single year by any province in Canada.

This is in addition to $355 million announced in February to create 2,000 new affordable rental housing units throughout BC, bringing the province’s total investment this year to $855 million.

"It is another significant step towards helping more people find an affordable place to live,” said Premier Christy Clark.

What about home buyers?

Most home buyers won’t see any kind of tax break.

These include potential home buyers who don’t qualify for the First-Time Home Buyers Program exemptions, including first-time buyers of homes priced at $475,000 or higher, or home buyers trading up who aren’t first-time buyers and don’t buy new homes priced up to $750,000. 

The government explained that their September 19 announcement builds on other housing affordability actions taken, including:

  • Implementing a 15 per cent foreign buyers tax;
  • Strengthening consumer protection in B.C.’s real estate market through increased oversight and accountability of real estate licensees;
  • Introducing a new luxury tax on properties that sell for more than $2 million; and
  • Introducing a Newly Built Homes exemption, which has helped nearly 5,500 families save an average of $7,600 on their newly built homes priced up to $750,000.