Vancouver BC. Sonia Sidhu. Foreign buyers made up five percent of overall real estate sales in Vancouver region during the three-week period last month, but bought higher-priced homes than Canadian Citizens or permanent residents, according to the first set of data released by the provincial government on the sensitive topic of foreign ownership and “shadow flipping”.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong said those foreign purchasers bought homes that on average cost $ 1.16-million, which is about $ 445,000 higher than the average home bought by Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Premier Christy Clark said her government will work on all seven recommendations directed at government, including increasing the maximum fines for realtors and brokerages to $ 250,000 and $ 500,000, respectively, among other issues of dual agency transactions. The changes are aimed at not restoring public’s confidence but to evolve affordable housing, in a sector battered by allegations of misconduct, weak reporting mechanisms and governance issues. Premier Christy Clark suggests to create a dedicated superintendent of real estate and go beyond 28 recommendations offered in a report released by Independent Advisory Group. Current superintendent Carolyn Rogers, who had previously decided to step down next month, is also responsible for overseeing all credit unions and pension and mortgage brokering industries.
In British Columbia alone, foresters, lawyers,architects, land surveyors, engineers, social workers, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, opticians, physical therapists, doctors, veterinarians, notaries and other professions have governing bodies established by legislation that are required to license their members, regulate their professions and exercise their powers in public interest, rather than in the specific interest of their members.
British Columbia Peoples Party, president suggests all self regulated professional associations, should have the same criteria as Realtors of British Columbia, members of Real Estate Council of B.C. There is no mechanism in place for the Government to check their process of violations and discrimination against Doctors, Dentists, Veterinarians, Nurses, CRNBC, Accountants, lawyers and other professions. “Only regulating Realtors of British Columbia, is a political decision, to hide the failures of the government to provide Affordable Housing, which is a bigger economical issue for the next Provincial elections in 2017”, said Bajwa.
Either Premier Christy Clark establishes ground rules for all professionals or it will be challenged in Supreme Court of Canada, feel majority of the Fraser Valley Realtors. British Columbia Peoples Party plans to circulate a petition of support to challenge the Government in Victoria, Burnaby, Surrey, Richmond, Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Langley, New Westminister, White Rock and other Realtor Board Associations in British Columbia. Ontario and Alberta provinces have amended regulations and granted the Self Regulated Associations more tools of freedom rather than interfering with their professions.