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How will exemption from BC’s speculation tax affect Sunshine Coast real estate?

How will exemption from BC’s speculation tax affect Sunshine Coast real estate?

On my blog back in March, I talked about BC’s proposed “speculation tax”. Last month that legislation was brought forward, giving us our first look at how and where the tax will be implemented.

According to the CBC, the new tax will apply to all properties in Metro Vancouver and the Capital Regional District, as well as Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Nanaimo and Lantzville. Tax rates will range from 0.5 to two per cent.

Shockingly, the Sunshine Coast isn’t included in that list of affected regions. When this tax comes into full effect in 2019, I expect to see a flood of non-local buyers coming to the Coast to avoid paying the levy.

It appears as though the tax is designed to penalize property owners with vacant or underutilized second homes. As such, homeowners who live at their properties or rent them out will be exempt.

Carole James, BC’s finance minister, estimates that more than 99 per cent of British Columbians will NOT be required to pay the tax.

So, what does this mean now for those looking to buy or sell real estate on the Sunshine Coast?

Buyers may want to introduce some urgency to their shopping. There are still deals to be had but this could change in the first quarter of next year.

Sellers, on the other hand, may suddenly find themselves under less pressure to accept a deal in the weeks to come.

If the Sunshine Coast really will be excluded from BC’s speculation tax, we could see the current flat market move back towards an environment that favors sellers.

Some other advantages of selling your home in fall include:

• Less inventory – not as many homes for sale at this time off year means less competition for the buyers that are out there. Homes with suites in them are in demand right now, along with ranchers with a view.

• Serious buyers –  there are fewer buyers around now compared to the springtime, but the ones that remain are serious. Anyone driving around looking at houses this time of year are not doing it just to have a nice afternoon out.

• Crisp sunny days – this year on the Sunshine Coast we have had many beautiful sunny fall days. The clear nights have dropped the temperature enough that having a gas or wood fire going during a showing or open house allows that feature to be functionally highlighted.

• Seasonal views – the falling leaves are beautiful and also open up seasonal views that cannot be a fully appreciated at other times of the year.

• Opportunity to bake – the smell of an apple pie fresh out of the oven, or other delicious baked goods, can enhance a buyer’s reaction to your property. In summer,  this can heat up the home too much before a showing or open house, but fall is perfect for this olfactory system hack.

• Enhanced curb appeal – there is something so vibrant about seeing a home in fall. With the changing colour, falling leaves and a little bit of decoration, it is easy to increase your home’s charm and coziness at this time of year.

Tony Browton’s blog can be found at

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