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Two thirds of residents think the new tax will not make it easier for British Columbians to own a home.

Vancouver, BC – While most British Columbians support the recently implemented 15-per-cent foreign buyer tax, its actual effect in leading to affordability in the domestic housing market is questioned by a large proportion of residents, a new Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 76% of residents support the 15-per-cent foreign buyer tax that will apply to all residential real estate deals in Metro Vancouver, while 17% oppose it and 7% are undecided.

Support for the 15-per-cent foreign buyer tax is high among residents who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) (81%), the BC Green Party (79%) and the governing BC Liberals (74%) in the 2013 provincial election.

Upon the introduction of the tax, BC Premier Christy Clark said the new tax was about ensuring “that British Columbians get first crack and best crack at buying new homes and existing homes when they come on the market.” Across the province, 59% of residents believe the new tax will be unsuccessful in this regard—including 56% of BC Liberal voters in 2013.

In addition, two thirds of British Columbians (68%) think the new tax will be unsuccessful in “making it easier for British Columbians to afford a home”—a proportion that includes 67% of BC Liberal voters in the last provincial ballot.


When asked about the provincial government’s pledge to reinvest the revenue from the 15-per-cent foreign buyer tax into affordable housing projects, almost three-in-four British Columbians (73%) express little or no confidence—including 67% of BC Liberal voters.

“While British Columbians of all political stripes are in favour of the foreign buyer tax, they are also united in doubting its efficacy,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “The promise of revenue going into a special housing fund to be spent on affordability projects is currently unconvincing, even for the government’s supporters.”

All three levels of government fare better in dealing with housing issues, when compared to a similar Insights West poll conducted in June. The highest level of dissatisfaction continues to be observed for the provincial government (61%, down 15 points), followed by the federal government (53%, down 17 points) and municipal governments (also 53%, down 12 points).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 19 to August 23, 2016, among a representative sample of 827 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points. Click to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West


Photograph: Rod Raglin