Kamloops dodges tax bullets
April 13, 2018
Kamloops, B.C.’s third largest city outside of the Lower Mainland, has been granted exemptions from two provincial taxes that affect homebuyers and owners.
The Foreign-Home Buyer Tax and the new speculation tax cover Vancouver and the entire Lower Mainland, Nanaimo, southern Vancouver Island and the central Okanagan city of Kelowna, but do not apply to Kamloops.
Cameron Muir, chief economist for the BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) said that, with no foreign buyers tax or speculation tax, Kamloops and the surrounding area could become more attractive to buyers, both locally and from out-of-province.
“From Alberta, you have large contingents of buyers who are well heeled and are buying in the Okanagan as well as the Kootenays,” he said.
He noted many Canadians buy recreational property in B.C., including the Okanagan and Kamloops region.
Kamloops is home to Sun Peaks, B.C.’s third-largest ski resort, as well as many large lakes and golf courses. The city is about four hours driving distance from Vancouver and about 10 hours from Calgary.
The new B.C. speculation tax is applied annually and will rise to 2 per cent on the assessed value of homes once it is fully up and running next year.
The tax increases for homes assessed at $3 million or more.
The Foreign-Home Buyer tax is much more punitive at 20 per cent of the assessed value of a home.
The BCREA forecasts that 3,150 homes will sell in the Kamloops area this year at an average price of $385,000—a price increase of 5.4 per cent from 2017.