Poll finds most back foreign buyer tax, doubt it will cut prices

Insights West survey: 76 per cent support new 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers, but many think it won't improve affordability

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While most B.C. residents support the province’s new 15 per cent foreign buyer tax, two thirds don’t think it will make it easier for locals to own a home.

That’s the finding of a new Insights West poll released Wednesday.

The online survey found 76 per cent support the foreign buyer tax that now applies on all residential real estate transactions in Metro Vancouver, while 17 per cent oppose it and seven per cent are undecided.

Strong support for the tax ran across party lines, according to Insights West.

But 68 per cent think the new tax will not succeed in “making it easier for British Columbians to afford a home.”

RELATED: Pundits split on whether foreign buyers tax will cool market

Most (73 per cent of all respondents and 67 per cent of previous BC Liberal voters) had little to no confidence in the government’s pledge to reinvest the revenue from the new tax into affordable housing projects.

“While British Columbians of all political stripes are in favour of the foreign buyer tax, they are also united in doubting its efficacy,” said Insights West vice-president Mario Canseco. “The promise of revenue going into a special housing fund to be spent on affordability projects is currently unconvincing, even for the government’s supporters.”

Asked if they expect their home’s value to be higher or lower a year from now as a result of the foreign buyer tax, 52 per cent in Metro Vancouver said they expect it to be about the same, 22 per cent think it will be somewhat higher, two per cent said much higher, 19 per cent thought it would be somewhat lower and three per cent think it will be much lower.

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