Taxable Regions for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax

Only those owning property classed as residential and located in a designated taxable region in B.C. must complete a declaration for the speculation and vacancy tax.

Following are the designated taxable regions, including maps for each region. The maps are for your convenience only. Refer to the legislation for details.

Reserve lands, treaty lands and lands of self-governing Indigenous Nations are not part of the taxable regions.

Islands that are accessible only by air or water are not part of the taxable regions, except for Vancouver Island.

Some residential properties are excluded from the speculation and vacancy tax even though they are located within a taxable region. These include residential properties owned by:

  • An Indigenous Nation
  • Municipalities, regional districts, governments and other public bodies
  • Registered charities
  • Housing co-ops
  • Certain not-for-profit organizations

You can also refer to the legislation for a list of exclusions.

If your residential property is excluded for one of these reasons, you only need to complete a declaration if you have received a declaration letter.

The speculation and vacancy tax has received Royal assent in the Legislature. This information is not a replacement for the law.

Tax Rates for the Speculation and Vacancy Tax BC

The speculation and vacancy tax rate varies depending on the owner’s tax residency. In addition, the tax rate varies based on whether the owner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or a satellite family.

For 2018, the tax rate is:

  • 0.5% of the property’s assessed value for all properties subject to the tax

For 2019 and subsequent years, the tax rate is:

  • 2% for foreign owners and satellite families
  • 0.5% for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada who are not members of a satellite family

The speculation and vacancy tax applies based on ownership as of December 31 each year.

A speculation and vacancy tax year is the same as a calendar year. Tax levied on December 31 is due the following July. For example, for a property owned as of December 31, 2018, the 2018 tax rate of 0.5% applies and the tax is due on July 2, 2019.

The speculation and vacancy tax has received Royal assent in the Legislature. This information is not a replacement for the law.


New home prices Canada

Canada new housing prices in Canada increased 0.2 percent month-over-month in December 2019, following a 0.1 percent drop in the previous month while markets had expected no change. It was the largest monthly rise in housing prices for a December month since 2009. Prices for new houses increased the most in Ottawa (0.6 percent), with builders reporting market conditions and construction costs as the primary reasons for the gain. Higher demand for housing, as well as low inventory levels, continued to push prices up in the region. In contrast, prices were down in Greater Sudbury (-0.3 percent) and Gatineau (-0.2 percent), mainly due to lower negotiated selling prices. Year-on-year, new home prices went up 0.1 percent, the first annual increase since April 2019, after decreasing 0.1 percent in November.

Current interest rates

The Bank of Canada left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75 percent on January 22nd 2020, as widely expected. It remained the highest rate since December 2008. Policymakers said that they will be closely monitoring the economy to see if the recent slowdown in growth is more persistent than forecast. The Committee noted that the growth slowdown was related to special factors including strikes, weather and inventory adjustments and projected that the GDP grows 1.6 percent this year and 2 percent in 2021. Policymakers added that the inflation rate is expected to remain around 2 percent over the projection horizon, with some fluctuations from volatility in energy prices. The Bank Rate and deposit rate were also left unchanged at 2.0 percent and 1.50 percent, respectively.