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Real estate transactions: Alberta city hopes to lure buyers back

British Columbia has seen its share of real estate deals from Wild Rose Country residents. But if Canmore has any say in the matter, more Alberta residents will stay in their home province to ink real estate transactions. With B.C.'s speculation tax that penalizes nonresident buyers, Albertans may look to their own province to purchase seasonal real estate. The resort town may look more appealing than ever.

Beginning next year, nonresidents of B.C. -- and that includes Canadians from other provinces -- will have to pay tax on their seasonal properties like cottages. They will have to shell out 1 per cent of the assessed property value if the home is unoccupied for six or more months each year. In the Okanagan Valley, where real estate is at a prime value, these types of dwellings can have an assessed value in excess of $1 million, which translates into a $10,000 speculation tax if the property is vacant for half the year. 

In fact, in a marketing ploy, a Canmore developer is offering a free case of B.C. wine to Albertans who buy into his condo complex. But he hopes the real pull is in the tax savings. And an added incentive to stay in the province is the lack of provincial sales tax, which is at 7 per cent in B.C. The speculation tax has Alberta builders high-fiving, while B.C. developers are worried.

Real estate transactions can get complicated, especially when they're out of province or country. An Alberta lawyer may be able to provide some tips when it comes to inking a final deal. He or she may be able to provide invaluable advice in every step of the selling or buying process. 

Source:, "Canmore aims to lure Alberta buyers back from B.C.", Frank O'Brien, April 18, 2018

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