The Property Transfer Tax (PTT) is a land registration tax paid by a property buyer or owner when a property title is registered at the Land Title and Survey Authority (LTSA).  

The PTT is based on the fair market value of the property being transferred whether or not money changes hands, including transfers of property between a corporation and its shareholders, gifts of property and land exchanges.

Taxable transactions

Taxable transactions include:

  • transfer of fee simple title and registration;
  • right to purchase or agreement for sale;
  • lease or lease modification agreements;
  • inheritance;
  • life estate;
  • foreclosure;
  • estates, forfeiture or quit claim; and
  • transfer as a result of corporate reorganization; and Crown grants.

PTT amount

Canadian citizens or permanent residents pay:

  • One per cent on the first $200,000;
  • Two per cent on the balance up to and including $2,000,000;
  • Three per cent on the balance greater than $2,000,000; and
  • if the property is residential, a further two per cent on the portion of the value greater than $3,000,000.

Foreign buyers/entities

Foreign buyers/entities pay an additional PTT of 20 per cent.

This is also based on proportionate share. For example, if two buyers are purchasing together, and one buyer is a foreign buyer, the additional PTT will only be calculated on the proportionate interest in the property.

Note: the foreign buyer ban has been extended to January 1, 2027.


Buyers of pre-sold strata units will typically pay the PTT on the total consideration paid for the unit, not the fair market value on the date the title is registered.

The total consideration is the entire amount paid to acquire the property, including the price of the unit plus fees for upgrades or additions, or any premiums for the assignment of a written agreement.

Once a developer files a strata plan at the LTSA, whomever registers the transfer pays the PTT. 


As of April 1, 2024, there are PTT exemptions for eligible first-time homebuyers of a property under $835,000, and for newly built homes under $1,100,000. 

First Time Home Buyers’ Program

The First Time Home Buyers’ (FTHB) Program gives a PTT exemption to eligible first time homebuyers.

To qualify for a full exemption, a first-time buyer must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
  • have lived in BC for 12 consecutive months before the date the property is registered;
  • have filed two income tax returns as a BC resident in the last six years;
  • have never owned an interest in a principal residence anywhere, anytime; and
  • have never received a first-time homebuyers' exemption or refund.

The property must be used as principal residence and have a fair market value of $835,000 or less and be 0.5 hectares (1.24 acres) or smaller.

If all of the above requirements are met, then the buyer will be exempt from PTT on the first $500,000 of the purchase price of the property.

Multiple buyers

If one or more of the buyers don’t qualify for FTHB Program, only the percentage of interest that the first-time homebuyer has in the property is eligible.


  • Buyer one has a 60 per cent interest in the property and qualifies for the first-time buyer exemption.
  • Buyer two has a 40 per cent interest and doesn’t qualify for the exemption.

The exemption is 60 per cent of the fair market value up to $835,000.

Partial exemption

Homebuyers may qualify for a partial exemption if the resale property:

  • has a value of more than $835,000 but less than $860,000;
  • is larger than 0.5 hectares, and/or
  • has another building on the property other than the principal residence.

Find out exemption amounts.

Newly built homes

There is a PTT exemption for newly built homes valued up to $1,100,000, including:

  • a house constructed on vacant land;
  • a new apartment in a newly built condominium building;
  • a manufactured home on vacant land; and
  • other newly built homes.

There are also occupancy requirements.

Buyers may be eligible for a partial exemption for newly-built homes with a value up to $1,150,000.

To apply for the Newly Built Home Exemption, enter exemption code 49 on the Special Property Transfer Tax Return when the property is registered at the LTSA. 

Vacant land

If a buyer purchased a vacant lot and paid the tax upon registration, they may apply for a refund if:

If the buyer moves out before the end of the first year, they may be eligible for a partial refund of the tax they paid based on the number of days they occupied the property.

If the owner passed away, or the property is transferred because of a separation agreement or a court order under the Family Law Act before the end of the first year, they may still be eligible for a refund.

Other exemptions

There are many PTT exemptions, including family exemptions, for example:

They are also exemptions for:

There are also exemptions for registration of:

Foreign entities and taxable trusts

Foreign entities and taxable trustees aren’t eligible for the exemption. 

Refunds for permanent resident or Canadian citizen

Homebuyers may be eligible for a refund if:

  • they became a permanent resident or Canadian citizen within one year of when the property transfer was registered with the LTSA;
  • moved into their home within 92 days from the date the property transfer was registered;
  • lived in the home as their principal residence for a continuous period of at least one full year after the date they moved into that home; and
  • didn’t receive a BC Provincial Nominee exemption.

Refund for paying the PTT in error

Homebuyers may be eligible for a PTT refund if they paid the tax in error, for example, if the homebuyer paid additional tax on a residential property located outside the specified BC areas or if the homebuyer qualified for an exemption at the time of registration but didn’t claim the exemption. 

Refund for the additional property transfer tax

Here’s how to apply for a refund.

Here’s information about whether a homebuyer is eligible to claim a refund of any additional PTT paid.


If buyers don’t comply there are penalties that can be levied. 

PTT history

In 1987, the PTT was brought in as a luxury tax. Just five per cent of homes were taxed the two per cent portion (over $200,000). Today, more than 95 per cent of homes pay the two per cent portion. 



Phone 250-387-0604 or toll-free at Inquiry BC at 604-660-2421 and ask to be transferred to 250-387-0604.

For more detailed information about the PTT and the liability for taxation, get professional advice from an accountant or a lawyer experienced with real estate transactions.