June 2015
Connections (June 2015)
Connections: Advocacy News from the British Columbia Real Estate Association – June 2015 
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  Foreign Buyers in Metro Vancouver

If you've glanced at media headlines in the past few weeks, you know that foreign buyers of real estate have gotten a lot of attention. Concerns about housing affordability in Vancouver spurred the interest, with calls for the provincial government to take action on foreign buyers.

In many parts of BC, real estate is generally a popular topic and opinions abound. But, when it comes to public policy, opinions aren't enough. That's why BCREA's Economics Department decided to examine whether foreign buyers actually make housing less affordable.

It's common knowledge that no hard number exists on foreign buyers in the Metro Vancouver housing market. However, the available data and analysis on the housing stock and flow of residential transactions in the region suggest that foreign ownership of housing is considerably less than five per cent of the housing stock, and not more than five per cent of sales activity.

As a result of this research, BCREA has drawn the following conclusions:

  1. A policy response to curb foreign investment is not necessary for the public good at this time.
  2. To gain further insight into foreign investment in housing, the government could attach a residency declaration somewhere in the land transfer form process, or other practical approach.

More information:

 Dealing with Drug Operations

In April, REALTORS® from around the province met with MLAs to explain the need for improved processes to disclose and remediate properties used in drug operations.

This is an issue faced every day by homebuyers, renters and the professionals who represent them. Damage caused by drug production isn't always visible, but can pose serious health and safety risks. And information about a property's history can be difficult to obtain.

MLAs on both sides of the house understand these concerns, and listened with interest to BCREA's three key recommendations:

  • Develop a centralized, consistent process for disclosure of property history information.
  • Describe a healthy building and then develop a centralized, consistent process for remediation of buildings used in drug operations.
  • Define a "drug operation" in a meaningful way.

The Association's position has also gained some recent media attention, with articles in the Georgia Strait and the Times Colonist.

For more information about BCREA's position, including a short video, visit www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations/drug-operations.

 Contact BCREA

Contact BCREA at [email protected] with your comments about these issues, or to provide an update on your organization’s successes.

For more information about BCREA’s public policy positions, visit www.bcrea.bc.ca/government-relations.

BCREA is the professional association for more than 18,500 REALTORS® in BC, focusing on provincial issues that impact real estate. Working with the province's 11 real estate boards, BCREA provides continuing professional education, advocacy, economic research and standard forms to help REALTORS® provide value for their clients.

To demonstrate the profession's commitment to improving Quality of Life in BC communities, BCREA supports policies that encourage economic vitality, provide housing opportunities, respect the environment and build communities with good schools and safe neighbourhoods.

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

British Columbia Real Estate Association
1420 – 701 Georgia Street West
PO Box 10123, Pacific Centre
Vancouver, BC V7Y 1C6
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