Restrict foreign buyers of Vancouver real estate?

Yesterday we posted about the record debt levels of Canadians – most of that growth happening in mortgage and line of credit debt.

Some people think low interest rates and CMHC backed mortgage debt is to blame for high house prices, while others blame foreign buyers in cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

Would you support restricting foreign ownership of property the same way they do in countries like Mexico, China and Australia?

Some people certainly would. This petition on has grown by more than 10,000 signatures in the last few days and is currently at the top of todays active list on that site.

Here’s the link to the petition if you support this idea – how many signatures do you think it would take to get politicians to support limitations on foreign buyers and how would they convince home sellers that this is a good idea?

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Vancouverites: your restricting of foreign buyers of vancouver real estate is harmful to Canadian trade relations with those who would seek to buy real estate in vancouver. What is it that you’re missing out on, here? Property values are going through the roof. With the right kind of tax you could be paying for all sorts of public works projects from it. We have an entire country built on that trade, your real estate facilitates our purchase of american ipods, chinese electronics, southeast asian textiles, european wines, and so on. If you start turning the valve of property access down to those foreigners, you’re going to risk the rest of the world not purchasing other canadian products — which in turn, is going to result in more homeless streaming in your direction as the rest of the country craters itself.… Read more »


[…] -How about more taxes? -Not all owners oppose lower prices -Equity Protection -What a realtor says -The premier wedge issue? -Lessons learned in the 80s? -Harper warns of high debt – […]

Open Letter to Christy Clark

An open letter to Christy Clark from the bloggers at VancouverCondoInfo Your sycophantic pandering to the moneyed classes betrays a wilful neglect of the very people who voted you into power. Yor blasé neglect of local constituents and their desires for affordable, local communities belies all your empty promises about putting British Columbians first. Your actions reveal that British Columbians are actually last on your list of priorities, as you move forward to eviscerate their very way of life. As you desperately try to open more conduits for the ever-growing pile of dirty money seeking to find a home on our fair shores, you wish you could reinterpret our national motto “From sea to sea” as a handbook for foreign investment in this once-great country. Your myopic and solipsistic policies have doomed future generations of British Columbians to penury in… Read more »


I followed the urging of someone up above and emailed my MLA, Chandra Herbert.

Somoene from his office got back to me and told me that the COV is considering legislation on the foreign ownership issue, but they don’t expect any support from the provincial or federal level.

When I pressed him for more transparency on the data regarding foreign ownership so that we wouldn’t have to resort to hacks like reading power meters and counting darkened windows, he hung up in a hurry. So, I think that that’s a touchy topic, but one thing at a time.

Please email Chandra Herbert if you live in his riding, or your own MLA and make this show up as a blip on their radar.

[…] « Restrict foreign buyers of Vancouver real estate? […]


Christy’s video is going viral right now, every newspaper is picking up on it.

And Fuck the petition site has crashed


@63: “I bet her ‘people’ were wishing they were close enough to stuff a sock in her mouth before she finished that sentence”

Yeah right. Coleman said the same thing a week ago. That was the trial balloon for Christy to follow up on this week. Doesn’t it look like this was all choreographed in advance?


@64: “I am a long-time liberal supporter (my entire voting life) and business person in Vancouver.”

So you are getting exactly what you voted for.

“I just wanted to let you know that I found Christy Clark’s comments today regarding foreign ownership policy extremely disappointing.”

Disappointing? They are consistent with everything else she’s done.



Christy, like every other politician, knows there is a serious possibility of a major bust in Vancouver and doesn’t want to do anything that would make the 70% of households blame her for losing their pot of gold or worse their shirts. She wants to be seen as doing her best to keep prices high.



And that’s how it’s done. Time I do the same. If apathy is abundant nothing will get done.


Hi Moira, I am a long-time liberal supporter (my entire voting life) and business person in Vancouver. I just wanted to let you know that I found Christy Clark’s comments today regarding foreign ownership policy extremely disappointing. It is obvious to me, that the BC liberal party’s only contact point with the business community is through real estate developers. The reason the federal government has cancelled the “immigrant investor program” is because these “investors” are merely purchasing a passport of convenience and contribute very little to the local economy – many foreign owners that I know personally through my daughter’s pre-school make it a point that the husband does not reside in Canada to avoid paying income tax on his worldwide income. This issue is creating a massive “crowding out” of legitimate investment in the province, and in particular, in… Read more »



Someone somewhere has got to come out with a rebuttal to her insane comment, which will hopefully go viral.

I bet her ‘people’ were wishing they were close enough to stuff a sock in her mouth before she finished that sentence

Bull! Bull! Bull!

petition seems to be picking up steam since christy’s remarks. still no comment on my petition to provide locals with mandarin lessons.

i think it is essential for us to understand the mindset of the people who are shaping our region.

here is a blog post from a chinese forum which provides insight into their perspective:

Bull! Bull! Bull!

i wonder how many freedom of information requests are being prepared to find out exactly what the government knows.


Wow, just wow. Utterly shocking that the Premier would actually say “if we remove foreign ownership prices will fall” Do people really believe foreign ownership is not a driver and not an issue anymore? I never used to think it was to be honest but I’m under no illusions anymore. I simply can’t believe our Premier would say that and then go on to say we have to keep it or all these home owners won’t actually have any money anymore cause their housing ATM machines would break down.

If I didn’t watch her say it with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe she said it.

Vancouver. Officially for sale to anyone, anywhere of any moral ground, as long as the price is right.

The future is dark.


I actually cannot believe what I have just seen on that video. So Christy Clark is saying unashamedly that global commodity traders or slave labor factory exploiters / owners or basically any other rich person in-between from Melbourne to Madrid are welcome to invest in the Vancouver Housing market – BECAUSE house prices have to remain propped up by said people in order for Boomers and Investors to continue to be able to lend (increase debt) on their already huge equity!! AND furthermore.. house prices cannot drop for that very reason?! Hasn’t the Premier not just admitted as much (that’s it’s a foreign investor propped up ponzi-scheme)? AND TO F*CK with the young working middle class families who must purchase a box, rent or leave. That is their future. She should immediately be taken to task on Twitter / facebook… Read more »


There you go folks – Christy has drawn her line in the sand…..

The NDP now has an opportunity to get some serious votes.

If the NDP proposes a legitimate plan to tax foreign buyers, I will vote NDP


Wow, next thing we’ll know, Christy Clarke will say how repressing heroin sale might help reduce overall crimes in the city and help heroin addicts get rid of their addiction, but those poor drug dealers won’t be able to use this money to finance other projects.

We need to think about that because heroin addiction in the city of Vancouver, in particular, is a real issue.


I think Garth is very savvy and knows exactly what he is doing. First, the foreign buyers in Van RE always acts like click-bait for his site. Second, the vast majority of HAM are right-wing Conservative/BC Liberal supporters so he is doing his bit to show how right-wingers stand up for them. It probably also doesn’t hurt his private investment business to show prospective HAM clients these articles so they can see how understanding and welcoming he is to them and their millions.


Regarding interest rates, before everyone gets too excited, lets get a dose of reality from a Nobel Prize winning economist who actually knows what he is talking about:

But I thought I should take time out for a public service announcement — a reminder that despite having bounced recently, interest rates, especially in Europe, are still very low.

But it’s important to understand that 0.6 percent is still a very, very low rate by any historical standard. And if you look at yields on index bonds, you find that German real rates are still strongly negative.

One way to say this is that the financial data still point to lowflation and maybe secular stagnation, just not as strongly as they did a couple of months ago. Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body


Garth being owned on his own blog. Priceless.


@41: “It seems to me that attempts to limit foreign ownership in Australia have failed spectacularly.”

That’s assuming that the Oz government was really attempting to limit foreign ownership in the first place.

I think they were pretty successful at their real purpose, making the Oz government look “tough” and “doing something” while their policies were actually promoting inflated prices.


“There may be little Poloz could do to keep rates low.”

What about quantitative easing?


@40: “Is there any other reason that I’m missing? ”

Canada is a debtor nation, which means it cannot set its own rates indefinitely.