The majority of brokers believe the 15% sales tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver is, overall, a good thing, according to a recent MortgageBrokerNews.ca. poll.
Of those who took the poll, 56% said the new policy is a good thing. 33% argued it’s bad.
And there was a small minority that is still unsure about whether the impact will be good or bad; 11% chose the option undecided.
Of course, the sampling is a small one comprising 101 total votes.
Still, it gives a barometer to gauge broker sentiment. Their collective feelings may come as a surprise.
The same poll was held on MBN sister publication, Real Estate Professional. That iteration of the study had similar results.
The slight majority – 47% -- said it’s a good thing. The prevailing sentiment among those is that foreigners are inflating Vancouver’s real estate market, and that this barrier will likely help cool the market, and make it easier for citizens – many of whom have been priced out -- to get into the housing market.
However, 44% of respondents said it’s a bad thing.
And while many in the industry view the move as a prudent one, one broker, who is in favour of the tax, has posed questions about what exactly the government plans to do with the influx of revenue the tax will create.
“The average Canadian should not be squeezed out of housing because of foreign investment without a contribution to the cause by way of a tax. The question is what will this new ‘revenue tool’ be use for? General coffers?” Omer Quenneville, a broker with Centum, wrote in the MBN forum. “That would be wrong; it should be used to get more Canadians into the market. If we don't help Canadians now, we will have to take care of them in their senior years and the foreign investors will be gone with their profit. That might be a little long term for some but it is important.”
The results are in, and they may surprise many mortgage brokers.