The government of British Columbia introduced the PROPERTY TRANSER TAX (PTT) in 1987. Purchasers had to pay 1% on the first $200,000 and 2% on the balance of the "fair market value" of any property (not necessarily the purchase price). At the same time, the government introduced the First Time Home Buyers Program, which eliminated or reduced the amount of the PTT a qualified purchaser would pay on the purchase of his/her first home.
To qualify the purchaser must 1) be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident at the time the property is registered; 2) have lived in BC for 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the date the property is registered; 3) have never owned an interest in principal residence anywhere in the world; 4) have never received a first time home buyers exemption or refund.
Under the FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS PROGRAM the property must be located in BC, have a fair market value of less than $475,000; and be 0.5 hectares or less. A purchaser may qualify for a partial exemption if the property is less than $500,000.
In February 2016, the BC government introduced the NEWLY BUILT HOME EXEMPTION. Under this program, the PTT is eliminated or reduced on the purchase of a newly built home less than $750,000.
The BC government also restructured the PTT in February of this year to as follows: 1% on the first $200,000, 2% on the amount between $200,000 & $2 million and 3% on the amount over $2 million of the fair market value. (The property Purchase Tax is complex and purchasers are well advised to consult their lawyer on this matter)
As of August 2 2016, the BC government sprung up an additional 15-per-cent land transfer tax on foreigners and non-residents who purchase residential property in Metro Vancouver, including Tsawwassen First Nation lands. Provincial Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled the tax as part of legislation aimed at addressing low vacancy rates and high real estate prices in southern B.C. In a recent poll, 9 out of 10 Vancouver residents supported this change.