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B.C. Finance Ministry Orders Property Buyers to Disclose Citizenship

Posted by Marites Alma Christiansen on Feb 22, 2016 08:26 AM EST
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A scenic view of Vancouver from Stanley Park photographed on June 3, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo : Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Canada's hot real estate market has paved the way for the Finance Ministry to propose a resolution for complete disclosure of purchased properties in the province, according to a CBC Canada report.

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Individuals buying property would be obliged to reveal their citizenship, as well as residency status in Canada, as part of British Columbia's finance ministry yearly budget plan. Finance Minister Mike de Jong further stated that the new rule would also apply to corporate executives and individual transferees likely involved in property purchases.

The minister expressed concern over theories and evidence over the province's booming and overheating house market.

"And the best way we can think of is to resume collecting information that at one time we did collect in B.C. and don't any longer," added de Jong.

Although the government has advised on this latest plan compiling property purchase information once more, de Jong said that there's no specific action for any data collected should it point to any forbearing issue. He specified on measures relative to the province's annual budget, that would be geared towards increasing housing stock, as well as promoting affordability for individuals wanting to get on the property ladder.

On the other hand, a tax relief measure would also be lifted for newly built houses worth up to $750,000. About $75 million in tax relief gains would be expected in exchange for increases in the property transfer tax for homes sold priced above $2 million.

Bloomberg also reported on the province's latest budget agenda in relevance to its hot property market.

"We encourage people to come to B.C. to invest," he said. "I don't want to leave the impression in any way, shape or form that our enthusiasm for that has been diminished," continued de Jong.

It should be taken into account that the collection of such data involving foreign buyers was stopped almost ten years ago, still in the same report.

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