Vancouver seeks foreign tech workers, scraps home buyers' tax for them

OTTAWA (Reuters) - In a bid to attract high-tech workers, British Columbia said on Friday skilled immigrants living in Vancouver will not have to pay a special property transfer tax on foreign purchases of real estate.

The Canadian province imposed the 15 percent tax on nonresidents’ purchases of property in the city last August amid concern that speculation by global investors, mostly from mainland China, was fueling a bubble.

Provincial premier Christy Clark said the exemption would help ensure the province “continues to attract highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs across all sectors of the province’s diverse economy, including the growing tech sector”.

In a statement, she said technology employment rose by 2.9 percent in 2016, surpassing the province’s overall employment growth of 2.5 percent.

Vancouver house sales and prices have declined unevenly since the tax was imposed.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by James Dalgleish