Government’s Housing Taxes Remain Popular in British Columbia

Four-in-five residents endorse the increase in the foreign buyers tax, and more than two thirds agree with the “speculation tax.”.

Vancouver, BC [March 19, 2019] – Most British Columbians endorse the provincial government’s housing-related fiscal policies, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 68% of residents agree with the implementation of a “speculation tax” in specific urban areas targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who pay little or no income tax in BC, and those who own second properties that aren’t long-term rentals.

In a survey conducted by Research Co. in June 2018, 62% of British Columbians called the “speculation tax” a “very good” or “good” idea.

“While some government policies tend to cause extraordinary differences between residents according to political allegiance, the ‘speculation tax’ is different,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Those who agree with the ‘speculation tax’ include 82% of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 2017 provincial election, 70% of those who voted for the Green Party and 55% of those who voted for the BC Liberals.”

Four-in-five British Columbians (80%) agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20%, and three-in-four (75%) agree with the decision to expand the foreign buyers tax to areas located outside of Metro Vancouver.

More than three-in-five British Columbians also agree with increasing the property transfer tax from 3% to 5% for homes valued at more than $3 million (64%) and introducing a tax of 0.2% on the value of homes between $3 million and $4 million, and a tax rate of 0.4% on the portion of a home’s value that exceeds $4 million (66%).

Across the province, 39% of residents think the actions of the provincial government will be “effective” in making housing more affordable in British Columbia, while almost half (47%) believe they will be “ineffective.”

Residents who voted for the BC NDP in the last provincial election (56%) are more likely to expect the hosing measures to be effective, while those who cast a ballot for the BC Liberals (64%) or the BC Greens (48%) are more likely to deem them as ”ineffective.”


Results are based on an online study conducted from March 8 to March 10, 2019, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.