Ron: 604-938-3815

Rachel: 604-966-4200

Photos credit: Tourism Whistler

Non-Resident Buyers: What You Need to Know about Whistler Real Estate

Canada welcomes home buyers from all countries, and there are no restrictions on the amount or kind of real estate you can buy. As with any investment, it’s important to contact your accountant to understand fully how the purchase or sale of a property in Canada will affect you from a tax perspective. 
Non-resident clients are typically required to have a minimum 20% cash down payment. Top Canadian lenders generally provide financing for USA residents but not other foreign buyers. Smaller lenders do sometimes provide financing for other nationalities, usually at higher-than-average interest rates. Often, foreign buyers are better suited to seek financing options in their home country and pay cash for their Canadian property purchase. 
When buying a property in BC, foreign buyers pay the same property transfer tax (PTT) as Canadian residents at the time of purchase. PTT is calculated at 1% on the first $200K, 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200K and up to and including $2m, 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2m, and if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3m.
It’s sometimes difficult for non-residents to obtain insurance for an investment property. Given that proof of home insurance is required to obtain a mortgage, this is an important factor to consider.

Fortunately, Whistler is exempt from the BC foreign buyer tax and the BC vacant homes tax that applies to real estate in Vancouver and other parts of the province.

When you sell your home, you may realise a capital gain. If the property was solely your principal residence for every year you owned it, you do not have to pay tax on the gain. If at any time during the period you owned the property, it was not your principal residence, or solely your principal residence, you may have to report all or part of the capital gain. As a non-resident of Canada, you’ll be required to pay a ‘withholding tax’ (calculated at 25% (on the land portion) and up to 50% (on the building portion) of the interim gain on the sale that the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) will hold onto until the end of the tax year. They then deduct your tax owing from this amount and if the total tax owing is less than the withholding tax, you’ll be entitled to a refund for the difference. Your tax accountant can help to determine exactly how the Capital Gains tax applies to your situation. 

Aside from the above financing, tax and insurance considerations, the process of purchasing real estate in Whistler is otherwise the same as for a resident. Make sure you seek out the expertise of a local Realtor® to guide you through the rest! 

Contact Ron & Rachel today to find out more about your Whistler real estate options.
604-966-4200 /
Information current as of September 2021. Information intended as general information and is not to be relied upon as guaranteed. Seek expert advice from your tax accountant and mortgage broker for accurate and current information.