Property Transfer Tax, unlike property tax which is paid annually, is a one-time, land registration tax that will affect all Vancouver real estate. This tax is paid only when there is a change to a certificate of title, wherein an owner is removed, gained or the property is transferred to an entirely new entity.

The Property Transfer Tax occurs when an application is made at any Land Title Office in BC for the purpose of registering changes to Vancouver real estate. The tax is based on fair market value or the price that the purchaser was willing to pay for the property.

Property Transfer Tax Fees:

  • If the fair market value is $200,000 or less, the tax is 1% of the fair market value.

  • If the fair market value is greater than $200,000, the tax is 1% of the fair market value up to $200,000, plus 2% on the portion of the fair market value that is greater than $200,000.

For example:

  • If fair market value of property is $150,000
  • Tax payable is: 1% of $150,000 = $1,500
  • If fair market value of property is $250,000

    tax payable is: 1% of $200,000 = $2,000
    plus 2% of $50,000 = $1,000
    for total tax payable of $3,000

First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyers may apply for an exemption if the value of the home is less than the threshold amount, which as of February 2008 (and remains unchanged as of December 2011) is $425,000. Most likely any first time home buyers looking to purchase Vancouver real estate, will not be eligible for this exemption.

If you're curious as to whether you may be eligible for the First Time Home Buyers Plan, please see these documents outlining qualifications and other criteria:

Guide to the First Time Home Buyers' Program
First Time Home Buyers' Program - Follow Up

If you're a first time home buyer, but did not know about this possible exemption, all is not lost. If you qualify for the FTHB, you can still apply for a refund within the first 18 months from the original date of registration. For more information on this, please see:
How to File

Good luck!

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