Intended to curb the undue influence of the mega-rich on Vancouver housing prices, the B.C. government’s new 15 per cent foreign buyer’s tax has already claimed its first unexpected casualties just a week after taking effect.
Among these unfortunate individuals is Hamed Ahmadi, who moved to from Iran to Canada around 4 years ago and subsequently worked with BC Hydro upon acquiring a PhD from UBC.
Earlier this year, Ahmadi entered into a contract to procure a $360,000 condo in Coquitlam with a 10 per cent down payment, half of which needed to be paid for ASAP.
“I paid $18,000 in trust and the closing date for the deal was set to be August 5 because the owner had a tenant in there,” Ahmadi told CBC News
“I signed the contract at the time with the assumption of the laws at that time,” he added.
With the imposition of the new tax, however, Ahmadi will now have to pay an additional $54,000 to push through with the purchase.
“[It’s not an amount of] money that people would just carry with them,” he lamented, as even though the tax does not apply to permanent residents, he is still awaiting the processing of his PR status.
“It will probably take a few more months before it's approved and I actually receive my permanent residence card.”
The Iranian expatriate said that while he understands the need for a tax on foreign buyers who are simply using the inflamed growth in Canada’s top housing markets as an opportunity to get even richer, imposing the levy in his case would be unfair as the Coquitlam home is meant to be his primary residence.
Backing out of the deal isn’t an option, Ahmadi added, as he would lose his deposit and face a lawsuit should he cancel.
“That $18.000, I believe, is not even comparable to what I'd be sued for,” he stated. “Any way I go, I lose. I don't know what to do at this point.”
“What can I do? Who is out there for me to talk to, to explain that this should not be applied to me?”
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