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Vancouver Tax Pushes Chinese to $1 Million Seattle Homes

December 7, 2016

bloomberg : msn – excerpt

(Bloomberg) — Just a few days after Vancouver announced a tax on foreign property investors, Seattle real estate broker Lili Shang received a WeChat message from a wealthy Chinese businessman who wanted to sell a home in Canada and buy in her area…

“The tax was the trigger of this new wave of investment now coming to Seattle,” Shang said. “Why pay more for the same thing?”

Vancouver, which has seen detached-home prices double in a decade, joined areas including Australia and Hong Kong in taking steps to slow housing demand after an unprecedented surge of foreign investment. Chinese buyers, in particular, are accelerating purchases overseas, spurred by a weakening yuan, rising prices at home and the perceived safety of real estate. They’re also venturing farther afield as costs soar in some of their favored markets.

Home-purchase inquiries from China have jumped in Seattle and Toronto since the Vancouver tax was announced, according to Juwai.com, the country’s largest overseas property website…(more)

This may be the best argument for using tax policy to control costs and rent control.

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