B.C. to measure foreign property buying

Premier pledges steps to gauge offshore money impact, address real estate affordability concerns

At left: A house now in the market on Vancouver's west side priced at $2.4 million; Premier Christy Clark.

Premier Christy Clark now says action will be taken to at least gauge the impact of foreign real estate buyers on the Lower Mainland property market.

The province has been criticized for lacking hard data on the influence of offshore money on home prices and has until now relied on estimates from realtor groups that contend the problem is minimal.

“I’m determined to try to get as much of that information as we can,” Clark told reporters Monday. “Affordability – especially in the City of Vancouver, less so in the suburbs, but certainly there as well – is a real issue and we have to find ways to address it.”

She said the forthcoming provincial budget later this month will include measures that will see BC Housing work with the federal government to quantify foreign ownership.

“You will see more initiatives that will help us understand exactly the role that non-citizens are playing in our property market.”

Clark cautioned against “villainizing” non-residents for any role they have in driving up prices.

The premier did not spell out exactly what action may be taken, if any at this point.

She has said before the province doesn’t want to do anything that would reduce the equity existing owners now have in their homes by forcing prices lower.

Finance Minster Mike de Jong has previously indicated a third tier might be added to B.C.’s property transfer tax, effectively charging the most expensive homes more when they change hands.

Money from such a move, he suggested, could be plowed back into some sort of housing affordability program to assist the less affluent.

The average sale price of Greater Vancouver detached houses hit $1.65 million in December.

One home now on the market is a 1930 old timer that’s predicted to fetch more than its $2.4 million asking price and then be knocked down.

Just Posted

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sidney group offers free, fun ‘trishaw’ bike rides to seniors

Physical disability and mental obstruction no barrier to trips around town

Student Voice: Vic astronomer tracking the New Horizons path

Local astronomer part of team studying New Horizons spacecraft

Second non-stop flight added between Prince George and Victoria

Starting June 23 flyers will have the choice of flying in the morning or afternoon

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read