The B.C. government is expanding the province’s speculation to include Lions Bay and Squamish, but it will not include the resort community of Whistler.

The changes also include speculation and vacancy tax in Duncan, North Cowichan, Ladysmith, and Lake Cowichan.The changes will start sometime in mid-2023.

A speculation tax was introduced in British Columbia in 2018 in an attempt to push homeowners into either renting or selling secondary properties. The tax is currently in place in Metro Vancouver, the Capital Regional District, Kelowna, and Nanaimo.

The province claims the tax led to property investors freeing up an estimated 20,000 rental homes for British Columbians.

Whistler and other resort-based communities have been exempted, even though there are rental pressures in many of those communities as well.

Right now the province is not considering moving to a province-wide speculation tax.

This tax is only applicable to homes that are not lived in by owners. Currently, every B.C. homeowner must complete a declaration as to whether they’ve lived in their home for at least six months. The tax is intended to identify foreign buyers but has also captured some British Columbians with vacation homes.

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