Someone over at the Vancouver Courier is of the opinion that foreign buyers have driven up the cost of real estate in Vancouver.
Of course, capitalism requires competition, and free market principles should drive our housing market. But we no longer control that market. And despite growing evidence of market dysfunction, Premier Christy Clark, who could stiffen provincial regulation, and Mayor Gregor Robertson, who could increase taxes on foreign property owners, cede our land to foreign buyers.
Not so in Australia.
In recent years, Australian cities have experienced Vancouver-style real estate booms, with housing prices soaring from Sydney to Melbourne. Like here, buyers from China help drive Australia’s speculative real estate market. Faced with mounting public pressure, in 2010 the Kevin Rudd government introduced strict regulation aimed at foreign ownership. Under the new rules, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) screens foreigners (including temporary residents and students) to determine their land purchase eligibility. Foreigners can’t buy existing properties and must build on vacant land within two years of purchase or face government-ordered sale. Scofflaws face capital gains confiscation. Finally, before foreign homeowners leave Australia, they must sell. No more overseas landlords Down Under.
Full article here. Is it time for BC to start looking at regulating home ownership and foreign buying?