New Exemptions to the 15% Property Transfer Tax


The original announcement that work permit holders would be exempt from the 15% additional property transfer tax was made on January 29, 2017.

On March 17, Premier Christy Clark finally introduced the details of the new exemption to the 15% property transfer tax applied to certain “foreign nationals” who purchase residential properties in the Greater Vancouver Regional District.  As we expected the devil is in the details.  There are a number of categories of work permit holders.  Just as we expected, it turns out that not all holders of work permits will be treated equally.  Most work permit holders will still have to pay the 15% tax.

The exemption from the tax will only apply to Provincial Nominees under the B.C. provincial nominee program (“PNP”).  They have to be “nominated” by B.C. so that other holders of work permits such as international students, executive transferees, or individuals nominated by other provinces will not qualify for the exemption.  Moreover:

  • The exemption only applies to provincial nominees who treat the property as a principal residence;
  • The exemption may be claimed only once. It the provincial nominee buys another GVRD property he must pay the 15% tax;
  • Evidence of provincial nominee status has to be provided at the time the documents are filed at the Land Title Office.


The new rules also provide that the following buyers who have already paid the tax will be entitled to refunds:

  • Foreign nationals who held B.C. PNP certificates or were confirmed as provincial nominees and purchased GVRD residential property between August 2, 2016, and March 17, 2017;
  • Individuals who became permanent residents or Canadian citizens within one year of the date the property transfer was registered in the Land Title Office

Refunds for permanent residents and citizens can only be claimed:

  • in respect of only one property;
  • where the property has been used as a principal residence;
  • where the owner moved into the residence within 92 days of property registration; and
  • continued to live in the property for one full year after the date the property transfer was registered.

Clearly most work permit holders are still subject to the 15% tax.  It seems that the exemptions are designed primarily to accommodate the PNP holders working in B.C.’s growing high technology industry, the fear being that the high cost of housing may be an impediment to economic growth in this critically important sector.

Meanwhile, work permit “status” issues can be somewhat complex.  Foreign national buyers holding work permits and their realtor advisors who are uncertain about whether an exemption would apply should consider consulting their immigration and conveyancing lawyers before entering into a binding agreement to purchase GVRD residential property.

Written by Peter Scarrow, former immigration lawyer, currently is the Director of Asian Business at Macdonald Real Estate Group.

Macdonald Realty Wins Marketing Award at Global Real Estate Conference

VANCOUVER, B.C. – (March 15, 2017) – Macdonald Realty was presented with a marketing award from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a selective global community of the highest quality independent real estate firms. The award was presented during the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World™ Conference Week, a series of events that drew an impressive audience of 2,000 real estate professionals from 25 countries.

First Place in Referral Promotions Marketing

Macdonald Realty received the award for Referral Promotions, for superior marketing relating to referral contests and programs, helping raise awareness of the company’s global real estate capabilities through its affiliation with LeadingRE.  The company place in the largest category for companies with 500+ sales associates and was chosen for excellence in creativity, quality and overall presentation and effectiveness.

“Our marketing team works hard to give our agents the best tools to grow their businesses, as well as to showcase our own brand,” said Rosey Hudson, Marketing Director of Macdonald Realty.  “This award for our Referral Toolbox – a series of social media and traditional marketing pieces that help our agents engage their clients with “We’re Local, We’re Global” – is a major kudos to the whole team.”

“We are pleased to recognize the winners of our Marketing Contest for creating distinctive materials and campaigns that convey the unique character of their companies, with a focus on compelling content, original graphics and effective delivery,” said LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor. “Our visual display of these award-winning materials is always a highlight of our conference, providing inspiration to all of our members.”

Top Luxury Brokerage Award Nominee

Macdonald Realty was also nominated for the Luxury Portfolio International® Top Luxury Brokerage Award, presented for overall engagement in Luxury Portfolio; embracement of tools, meetings, events, advertising and brand usage; and outstanding marketing strategy in the discerning market of affluent buyers and sellers.  They were nominated with Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate of Colorodo and, the winner, Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate of New York.

[Read more…]

North Vancouver home featured on Love It or List It hits the market!

Looking for a stylish starter home in North Vancouver?  This new listing from Bri Ragona of Macdonald Realty was featured on HTGV’s hit show Love It or List It and in Style at Home magazine.  It proves the old adage that good things come in small packages and will make a stunning place to call home for a lucky buyer!  Stop by the open house this weekend to see it in person – Saturday and Sunday, March 18th & 19th, 2-4 PM.

457 E 11th Street, North Vancouver  |   View the MLS® listing #R2146302 here.

List Price: $1,498,000  |  Bedrooms: 3  |  Bathrooms: 1  |  Living Space : 2,588 sq ft  |  Lot Size: 36 x 147 (5,292.00)


This charming 1912 character home is located in desirable Central Lonsdale.

The gorgeous open concept main floor has engineered hardwood throughout.


Enjoy stunning navy blue kitchen cabinets with sparkling white quartz countertops. High end stainless steal appliances including 36″ gas range and an additional oven.  Solid home – over 200K spent in upgrades.


 Family room off kitchen with gas fireplace and custom built ins.



1 bed on main floor and 2 large bedrooms up.



The brand new 24×15 ft cedar deck is  perfect for entertaining and overlooks a large backyard.


457 E 11th Street, North Vancouver  |   View the MLS® listing #R2146302 here.
Listed by Bri Ragona, Macdonald Realty Ltd., 604-783-0627

Read designer Jillian Harris’ LOVE IT OR LIST IT take on this old charmer’s miraculous update over on her blog

Luxury Homes Collection Magazine Spring 2017

The new season brings us a fresh new offering of Macdonald Realty luxury homes. We have a bright outlook for 2017 with our CEO Lynn Hsu providing our front line remarks on the market and our outlook.

We are delighted to present our spring edition with our cover feature from Bowen Island, a wonderful West Coast retreat perfectly situated to take in the gorgeous views and Zen atmosphere of the quiet landscape.

In this edition, in conjunction with our affiliate partners Luxury Portfolio International®, their MarketPulse® article gives a round up of wine regions of the world to invest in. From Oregon to South Africa, these are new market interests for investors and owners seeking a burgeoning market or new way of life. British Columbia’s own Okanagan Valley is included, where there is ripe opportunity for someone looking for a new venture or adventure.

click magazine cover to view

click magazine cover to view

Have a browse of our edition and enjoy the beautiful landscapes and properties from around the province.

CLICK HERE to view the digital edition on your computer or tablet

Greater Vancouver Real Estate Market Statistics – February 2017

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Greater Vancouver listings and sales in February 2017.


In the Vancouver Westside, there were 93 sales of detached homes and 602 active listings at the end of February. The benchmark sale price was $3,422,700, with an average days on market of 35. The hottest market for sales was Dunbar with 18 sales.

In comparison, the condo market had 368 sales, 686 active listings and a benchmark sale price of $688,400 with an average of 21 days on market. The hottest market for sales was Downtown VW, 85 sales.

Townhome sales were 32, active listings were 108. The benchmark sale price was $1,069,800 with an average days on market of 24. Kitsilano with 8 sales was the hottest market in February.

It’s a buyer’s market for single family homes.


[Read more…]

Squamish, Whistler and Sunshine Coast Real Estate Market Statistics – February 2017

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Squamish, Whistler, and Sunshine Coast listings and sales in February 2017.


In February 2017, there were 16 sales of detached homes and 111 active listings in Squamish. The benchmark sale price was $810,900 with an average days on market of 59.

The Condo market had 14 sales and 23 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $369,800 with an average days on market of 69.

Townhome sales were 12, active listings were 51. The benchmark sale price was $729,400, and the average days on market were 28.

It’s a buyer’s market for single family homes.


[Read more…]

Okanagan Real Estate Market Statistics – February 2017

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Okanagan listings and sales in February 2017.

South Okanagan: Osoyoos, Oliver, and Penticton

In February 2017, there were 71 sales of detached homes and 450 active listings in South Okanagan Area, including Osoyoos, Oliver, and Penticton. The average sale price was $498,404 with an average days on market of 95.

The Condo market had 34 sales and 128 active listings at the end of the month.  The average sale price was $227,035 with an average days on market of 97.

Townhome sales were 30, active listings were 77. The average sale price was $328,774, and the average days on market were 67.


[Read more…]

North Delta, Surrey, Langley and Fraser Valley Real Estate Market Statistics – February 2017

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on North Delta, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, and Fraser Valley listings and sales in February 2017.

North Delta

In the North Delta market, the benchmark sale price was $819,600 for detached homes. At the end of February, there were 118 active listings and 37 sales.

The condo market had 4 sales and 13 active listings. The benchmark sale price was $202,800.

Townhomes featured 7 sales, 15 active listings and a $482,900 benchmark sale price.

It’s a seller’s market in North Delta.


North Surrey

In February 2017, there were 49 sales of detached homes and 277 active listings in North Surrey. The benchmark sale price was $821,600.

The condo market had 97 sales and 196 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $244,800.

In comparison, townhome sales were 26, active listings were 33 and the benchmark sale price was $355,500.

It’s a seller’s market for condos and townhomes in North Surrey.


[Read more…]

Greater Victoria, Parksville and Nanaimo Real Estate Market Statistics – February 2017

Here are the latest real estate market statistics from Macdonald Realty on Greater Victoria, Parksville/Qualicum and Nanaimo listings and sales in February 2017.

Greater Victoria

In February 2017, there were 283 sales of single family homes and 396 active listings in the Greater Victoria. The benchmark sale price was $642,300 with an average days on market of 34. The hottest market for sales was Langford with 66 sales. There were also 22 sales and 114 active listings at the end of the month for waterfront homes.

In comparison, the Condo market had 206 sales, 229 active listings at the end of the month.  The benchmark sale price was $386,200 with an average days on market of 24. The hottest market for sales was Victoria, 98 sales.

Townhome sales were 71, active listings were 64 and the benchmark sale price was $515,600. The average days on market were 30, and the hottest market was Langford with 15 sales.

It’s a seller’s market in Victoria.


[Read more…]

Darin Germyn of Macdonald Realty becomes the Vice President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board


(left to right) Darin Germyn, Vice-President; Gopal Sahota, President; John Barbisan, President-Elect

SURREY, B.C., Canada (February 22, 2017) – At the annual Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) Annual General Meeting, Darin Germyn from Macdonald Realty South Surrey/White Rock office was elected to be the Vice President of the Board.

The FVREB is a professional association of more than 3,280 Realtors in the Fraser Valley providing its members with a variety of membership services including the Multiple Listing Service®, professional development and technological innovation. Fraser Valley’s new Board of Directors takes office on March 1, 2017.

For more details about FVREB Annual General Meeting in 2017, please click HERE.