Non-Resident: Buying

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Non-Resident: Buying Whistler Real Estate – What to Expect

Non-residents are permitted to buy real estate in Whistler. Whistler was excluded from the Federal Government’s two-year ban (2023 and 2024) on foreign real estate investment. It is a simple process for a non-resident of Canada to purchase Whistler real estate through a Buyer’s real estate agent. From the realtor’s perspective, it is the same buying process for a non-resident as it is for a resident of Canada. The biggest challenge for the non-resident is accepting Canadian Banking Laws and transferring money well in advance of it being needed. Therefore professional accounting advice is essential prior to purchase so you understand your obligations.

Buying. Owning. Selling.

If you are a non-resident Buyer, do yourself a favor and read the following pages that were written especially for you.

  1. Non-resident: Buying
  2. Non-resident: Buying Process
  3. Non-resident: Finance and Funds
  4. Non-resident: Owning
  5. Non-resident: Taxes and Fees
  6. Non-resident: Selling
  7. Non-resident: FAQ


Can non-residents buy real estate in Whistler?

Yes. Non-residents can buy any type of real estate in Whistler. Whistler was excluded from the ban on foreign investment which is in place until 2027.

Are non-resident buyers restricted from buying real estate in BC?

In Whistler, there are no restrictions. However, in Vancouver and many other metropolitan centers, there are restrictions. These restrictions are in place until 2027.

Does Whistler have an Empty Homes Tax?

No. It does not have an Empty Homes Tax.

Is there a BC Speculation Tax in Whistler?

No. There is no BC Speculation Tax in Whistler.

Does Whistler have a Vacancy Tax?

No. There is no Vacancy tax in Whistler as there is in Vancouver, but there is an Underused Housing Tax (UHT) for non-residents effective Jan 2023.

What taxes do I pay on a Whistler real estate purchase?

There are only two taxes: Property Transfer Tax (PTT) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the property is non-exempt.

Does the Underused Housing Tax apply to Whistler properties?

No for Canadian Citizens, and No for non-residents who use their residential property more than 28 days a year. Thinking of buying Whistler real estate, read my UHT blog.

Buying Process for Non-Residents

The process of buying a property is basically the same for residents and non-residents alike. Best to read the Non-Resident: Buying Process which is outlined in detail on a separate page.

Types of Zoning in Whistler

There are several types of zoning in Whistler each of which has restrictions. Read all about Phase 1, Phase 2, and Tourist Accommodation zoning in my blog post.

Tax Considerations

Paying tax and filing tax documents in Canada is related to the type of zoning you are considering. However, many companies in Whistler provide a service to manage your property so that you do not have to deal with the headache of dealing with the Canadian Government. For an overview by best to read, Non-Resident: Owning

Four Types of Investment Property

There are 4 types of investment and therefore 4 types of tax considerations for non-resident individuals investing in BC Real Estate. It is important to know how often you want to use your property for personal use before you start looking at real estate in Whistler. Your personal usage will guide your realtor as to what will work for you and your family.

1. Rented Nightly

Whistler has restrictions on each property and development, so not all properties can be rented out nightly. The appropriate zoning needs to be in place. The zoning for properties with the legal right to rent nightly is referred to as Phase 1 and Tourist Accommodation Zoning. There are options to rent through an experienced rental management company or self-manage your property. Some properties have a mandatory management company bylaw and others have mandatory terms regarding their rental pool. There are a lot of options with this type of zoning. In addition, you will pay a premium for a property with nightly rental zoning.

2. Business Income

The Phase 2 properties can be identified by the hotel name attached to the property: Westin, Hilton, Delta, and The Four Seasons Hotel (not Private Residences). This type of income is treated as business income rather than rental income. In order for the income to be treated as business income, the property manager must apply for approval from CRA for the entire “hotel”. That is, the decision to apply for business treatment is not up to each individual owner. Generally, this approval will only be given to properties that are operated as hotels.

Another difference is that business losses can be carried back 3 years and forward 20 years. That is different from rental losses which cannot be carried back or forward by a non-resident.

Note: This type of property is not featured on this website. However, if interested contact Marion Anderson PREC at for more information. There had to be a limit on content for this website.

3. Rented Monthly

Residential properties in Whistler, except Phase 2 properties have the zoning to rent out their property on a month-to-month basis. Month-to-month rentals should involve a written tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenancy Act has legislation on tenancy. This is a serious relationship and must be treated as such. Understand the pitfalls of having a tenanted property before you consider this type of property. There are property management companies that are licensed to work with tenanted property, which is an alternative to managing this type of property yourself.

4. Never Rented

The best way to describe this property is to state that regardless of the zoning, the property will never be been rented out from the day you buy it.

Mortgage Financing

It is important to decide early in the buying process if you require financing. This is not the sort of process that you want to attend to under pressure. The financial institutions will not rush the process to suit your deadlines. Best to read my post on Non-resident: Finance and Funds for excellent information.

Transferring Funds to Canada

For non-residents who are buying, the main difference is the transfer of funds from your country into Canada. The Canadian Government has procedures in place which, if followed are simple and should cause little stress. Best read my blog, Non-resident: Finance and Funds for loads of information. Please read this so that you can get your ducks in a row. There is no grey area with this.


Buying real estate in Canada is a legal process at every turn. The Deposit is due upon a firm offer, meaning no more conditions have to be met. Once the subject conditions have been met, or if there are no subject conditions, and you have a non-conditional offer…the deposit is now due. Best to read my blog, Deposits Are Serious Business.

GST on the Purchase Price

Goods and Services Tax (GST) GST is a federal tax on the purchase of goods and services. If GST payment is due on the sale of a property, it is due on the completion date of the sale and is a one-time payment. The current rate is 5% of the purchase price. GST applies to all real estate transactions regardless if you are a resident or non-resident of Canada. However, some properties, such as “used” residential housing, are exempt from GST.

In addition, if you are buying a residential property that is zoned for nightly rental and you intend to rent out your property nightly, then the GST may be exempt. For more details on this, please read the blog post: GST Buyer Information.

From the perspective of the Buyer’s realtor, it is up to the Seller to inform their realtor if GST is exempt on the property, or not. This exemption would be shown in the listing data. The Buyer’s agent will require the Seller to warrant that the GST is exempt or not exempt on the Contract of Purchase and Sale.

Note: Canadian Banks will not include GST as part of your mortgage financing.

Property Transfer Tax (PTT)

PTT is a BC provincial tax and applies any time there is a change of ownership registered with the Land Title Office, then the BC Government wants to collect. When you buy a property you will be required to pay the PTT on the completion date of the sale. This is a one-time charge.

In addition, if you decide that you want to add or delete someone to/from the title after the completion date, then you may be subject to a portion of the PTT. There are many rules in place with PTT so best contact a professional accountant or lawyer.

The property transfer tax rate is:

  • 1% on the first $200,000,
  • 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $200,000 and up to and including $2,000,000,
  • 3% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $2,000,000, and
  • if the property is residential, a further 2% on the portion of the fair market value greater than $3,000,000 (effective February 21, 2018).

For more information, please link through to my blog on How to Calculate PTT

Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on Furniture

When buying a property in Whistler and furniture is included, Provincial Sales Tax (PST) is applicable. This 7% PST is charged on used furniture and has to be accounted for. This tax will be of most concern to the buyer who is financing the purchase. The mortgage company will not finance furniture. Therefore if the furniture was included in the sold price this money has to be adjusted or deducted from the sale price. For more on this topic, please read the blog, Provincial Sales Tax on Furniture.

Completion of the Sale

The completion date on the Contract of Purchase and Sale must be adhered to by the Buyer. Should the Buyer be at fault and the transaction not complete as scheduled, the Seller has the option of voiding the contract. In addition, the Seller is legally allowed to keep the full amount of your deposit and may sue for breach of contract. Should the completion date be in jeopardy and delayed by even a day, the Seller may agree to extend the date of completion. However, count on the Seller charging you a hefty financial penalty for this extension. For more information on this, read the blog, The Completion Date Consequences.

Buying from a Non-resident

On the Contract of Purchase and Sale, there is a section for the Seller to acknowledge that each Seller is either a Canadian Citizen or not. To understand the selling process from a non-resident perspective, best to read the blog, Non-resident: Selling.

Next Steps

The steps above are a guideline as to what you can expect. With an experienced Whistler realtor and a local accountant and lawyer on your team, this will not be a difficult process. If you are a non-resident who is considering buying or selling a property in Whistler, contact Marion Anderson, author of this site. If you have read the non-resident pages, you already know what kind of realtor, and person Marion Anderson is.

If you think I would be a good fit to work with you and your family, and you are not already working with a Whistler realtor, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

It’s a Good Life in Whistler!


Marion Anderson Personal Real Estate Corporation (604) 938-3885