Realtors Have NO Place on a BC “Trade” Delegation

It’s so ridiculous … at first, I believed it was a joke:  Premier Christy Clark has allowed BC real estate agents to join her trade delegation to Asia.

No! Can’t be, I thought: at a time when studies show real estate in Vancouver has become so expensive, a young couple will have to save for 23 years just to get a down payment to buy a home… the LAST thing we should be doing is PROMOTING MORE BC REAL ESTATE SALES OVERSEAS!!  (Yes, I’m SHOUTING that!)

Are Clark and  the BC government so out of touch with the plight of our own Vancouver residents, being pushed further and further out of the real estate market by FOREIGN investors????

It’s so improper, insensitive and smacking of a “let-them-eat-cake” attitude that it’s absurd!

And I don’t buy any feeble excuse that the realtors on the trip will be pushing commercial properties, not residential.

I believe selling off huge commercial developments … at substantial profits …  can’t help but impact the residential base : driving up not only sales prices once more, but rental prices as well … making it even tougher for our own citizens/taxpayers/young families/singles.

It’s great for folks like me who already own and are planning to eventually sell, downsize and live off the profits.

But is that the government’s proper role?  Helping those who already have get richer … by ENCOURAGING rich foreign investors to keep coming, keep buying up everything in sight … at the cost of our own struggling to just get into the market?

Trade trips should sell BC as a great place for investment in our industries, our resources, our technology.

I support free enterprise … and I do not support the idea of banning foreigners buying BC properties. Would we really ban Americans (it’s not Asians buying places here)from owning property in, say, Whistler? Or somewhere on Vancouver Island or up the coast near Alaska? Or in any towns or cities where they work for a multi-national or have family? It would so difficult to enforce (probably violate international treaties and  our own Charter of Rights; and, it would also be easy to circumvent (numbered companies, having others here  hold the title in trust, etc.) …and I just don’t agree with such a xenophobic philosophy.

And remember, I’m one of the hundreds of thousands of Canadian snowbirds who own places south of the border or in other places, like the US (esp Arizona, Hawaii, Florida), Mexico, Cost Rica, etc. Should we be forbidden from doing so? Big Brother society … here we come!

However, the impact of outsiders purchasing up so many of the condos and homes in the Lower Mainland is FAR greater than any impact our own snowbirds have  on residents and young families in the much larger foreign sunbelts trying to buy homes. In fact, prices there are still comparatively low and what usually sells to snowbirds are full-time retirement residences or units  in WHOLE communities (seniors, recreational etc.) specifically designed, built for and aimed at snowbirds …from not only Canada, but other US states and even Europe/South America.

And the economic impact of “outsiders” is a positive one…so much so…many restaurants, retail outlets, service businesses and whole malls survive and flourish because of snowbirds.  (It’s actually very strange to be in Florida in, say October, and see how EMPTY the stores, restaurants and malls are … hurting with only “locals” as customers.

So “foreigners” should have a place here … as investors, part-time residents and immigrants … buying places to live.  But not as tax dodgers or money launderers, profiteers who buy up units just to flip them overseas to others who will then flip them again … before anyone even steps foot inside.

Unlike snowbirds, these people benefit almost no one … no local businesses, restaurants, retail outlets …. only themselves through their schemes, the sellers, the lawyers and accountants who handle the transactions, the government, in collecting property transfer taxes and, of course, the real estate agents and companies who manage and may even manipulate the whole system to fill their pockets as well.

So  when a government allows real estate sales people to join an official delegation actively …. it is actively backing and even encouraging the sale of our own LAND and PROPERTY, and that is NOT expanding business or trade.

That is GREED: selling off OUR people’s birthright … right from under our feet.

Shame on them!

Harv Oberfeld

 

 

 

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75 Responses to Realtors Have NO Place on a BC “Trade” Delegation

  1. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, come on.

    “Trade trips should sell BC as a great place for investment in our industries, our resources, our technology.”

    You should check, Conversations for Responsible Economic Development paper from 2013
    http://credbc.ca/role-energy-sector-bcs-economy/

    They are undoubtedly a conservative think-tank , but it’s their voice and other similar minded groups that drive BC Liberal policy.

    Some of their key points. (and there is no real reason to believe their numbers. Most are from BC Stats.)

    1. “the basis of our economy has overwhelmingly shifted to service-based industries. More than 4/5 of us work in services and over 76% of our GDP comes from those sectors.”

    2. Financial and REAL ESTATE is the single largest source of BC GDP dollars. Oil, mining and agriculture/fishing/forestry are minuscule in comparison (there is a good chart at the website)
    Tech and Manufacturing combined don’t equal financial and real estate.

    I don’t see how on one hand you can say that the government shouldn’t promote the selling of land and our “birthright”to overseas interests and then on the other say the government shouldn’t ban foreign ownership.

    If we’re going to allow foreigners to buy property don’t you want to get top dollar for what is a huge sector of our economy here in Beautiful British Columbia.

    Why would the liberal government (in name only, big business conservative in reality) actively exclude a huge sector of our economy from trade missions? Do you want the government to try and burst our property bubble?

    People (ie: voters) are planning to sell their deferred maintenance ( run down) houses for huge profits.

    The Liberals know where there votes come from. They’re not going to hurt the province’s economy and their electorate by trying to slow down our red hot property market so that some hipster NDP voter can buy a house off of Commercial Drive.

    (Response: I thought a lot about the problem of allowing foreign ownership…but still saying the government should NOT bring realtors as part of a “trade” delegation. It’s not that difficult an issue .. just because something is legal is not the same as actively promoting it …especially when any particular sector of the economy is under stress. And I think it can easily be argued …esp by people here trying to get into the market..that Lower Mainland real estate IS under stress. And the government should NOT be actively promoting the exploitation of any sector of our economy that is under stress. h.o)

  2. RIsaak says:

    A couple of very telling questions are begging for answers.
    What percentage of total mortgages in Canada has actually been paid to realtors?
    What percentage of total real estate commissions paid actually goes to the agent and how much to desk fees and the copyright holders for balloon signs etc.?
    How much money has been contributed to the BC Liberal election war chest by realtors?
    How many realtors have availed themselves of the pay to play private audience with Christy?
    Just a few questions I’d love to know the answers to, Christy & Co. would try to avoid these answers for somewhat obvious reasons.

  3. Helena Handcart says:

    Hi Harvey, Don’t be too hard on poor Christy. She is only doing as she is told by the big money boys. Remember, we have the best government that money can buy.

  4. Jay Jones says:

    Insanity.

    What next? Parents tossing their kids into the street so profit can be made by renting out their rooms to tourists?

  5. Gene The Bean says:

    Cant wait for a couple of regular posters here to go into their schtik about the Liberals and I am sure they are vigorously applying lip gloss so they can get that perfect seal on Christy’s derriere…..
    It usually goes something like this….

    “I don’t agree with (blah blah) but the Liberals are the only choice”
    “Yes, I see how bad the optics are on this issue but the NDP would be worse”
    “The Liberals don’t get a fair shake in the media”

    In the ‘real’ world, Christy pandering (and raising more money from the industry for her and her party) to foreign home buyers is an affront that would not be tolerated ANYWHERE except in BC.

    The optics, under the current situation are SO, SO BAD – yet they DO NOT CARE (yes, I am yelling too)

    A government completely and utterly out of control.

    (Response: How do they get away with it? Or all kinds of scandals? Or funding shortfalls in so many important areas? Well, maybe it’s because the voters care more about other things ,,,like recent stats the media did NOT miss …BC grew the fastest of all the provinces last year … GDP rising 3% …best in the country. Also the jobs report two weeks ago showed BC’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest in Canada for the first time since 1976. h.o)

  6. nonconfidencevote says:

    I recently saw a posting for the top 10 businesses contributing to the Liberal Party election “war chest” of which Ms Clark recieves aprox $50,000.0 PER YEAR from.
    6 in the top 10 campaign contributors were real estate companies( Bob Rennie comes to mind) and Real estate construction companies. They have contributed millions to the Liberals which, unsurprisingly, buys them a few seats on the “back to Asia tour’ (part 4?).
    If the NDP cant make some voter milage from the average voters disgust out of this then they are entirely hopeless……
    My fervent hope and desire is that this entire real estate ponzi collapses at least 6 months before the election next May so that Christie canexperience the full wrath of thousands of “underwater” mortgage holders and bankrupte housing “flippers”.
    The crash cant come soon enough to bring some sanity back to this mouldy, delusional, self absorbed, Starbucks sucking , vapid population of paperholding “millionaires”.

  7. Bob says:

    I too agree we shouldn’t ban foreign ownership but they also should not be allowed to buy several Condos at a time when buildings are being pre- sold, this stops others from getting into the market. I do know a person who stood in line for 2 1/2 hrs. to preview a suite in a new build and by the time they got their chance there was one Condo left. The sales people flat out said units were being bought 5-6 at a time by single clients, clearly there is some speculation going on. Maybe we could limit the number of units being bought by single investors or they could be more heavily taxed if the units sit empty. There is clearly a problem that needs addressed as my three children can not afford to live in the lower mainland at all and it ticks me off big time.
    Bob

    (Response: Good point! Something is clearly wrong when young families raised here, working here, paying taxes at the rates we pay here …have to compete with wealthy people or conglomerates from overseas …who maybe paid little or no taxes where they came from … and now can buy half a dozen units here at a time…. not to live in but to sit empty …. contributing almost nothing to our community … and just held as an investment. h.o)

  8. Gene The Bean says:

    “Well, maybe it’s because the voters care more about other things ,,, ”

    Yes, I agree Harvey, but it is not thing’S’ – it is thing, singular.

    They care about themselves. Period.

    The abject selfishness of todays society truly disturbs me.

    The seemingly never ending chase of money.

    The 52 shades of morality and all the flavours and shades of what now passes for truth. All personally justifiable…..somehow…..

    All I need to do is look around…..and observe people, hear them, see their actions…..and I can see why the Liberals keep getting elected.

    I will never touch my toes for money. I feel sorry for all those that do.

    Was at Hospice House recently….makes you think….what is important and what isn’t.

  9. morry says:

    Christy is a P#MP for sealing real estate to China.
    She is THE worst Premier we have ever had in B.C. Even worse than wacky Cosmos d’Amour.

    She is a total air head.

  10. Expo 86; sold for $50 million; Clean-up costs were borne by British Columbians because the Socreds brought that law in after they had expropriated the land from the companies that did pollute it. Sounds a lot like Mount Polley clean up costs and other mining outfits not setting aside, bonded, for future mishaps.

    Expo 86; Someone coined the phrase: HongCouver

    Which is not true, but just looks like it, so the BC Liberals tell us.

    (Response: The truth is more and more of us are ending up tenants in our own land. When it takes locals 23 years to raise enough for a down payment on a house, something has clearly gone wrong. And the government(s) should be doing something really substantial to change things…including letting people living in their homes DEDUCT mortgage payments from income taxes …the way investors can on rental units. h.o)

  11. Hawgwash says:

    Careful Harvey or you will be in the cross hairs along with Laila and Bob Mackin.

    It seems this crowd will do anything to advance their own cause first and really are smug enough to know they can get away with it.

    There isn’t even a down side for them if they should lose the next election. They have made the money and connections to keep them, their friends and families living high on the how for a very long time.

    How big a lottery is too big?

  12. David says:

    “Vancouver, BC – May 13, 2016. The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a record 12,969 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April, up 30.3 per cent from the same month last year. Home sales last month beat March’s record of 12,560 units. Total sales dollar volume was $9.64 billion in April, up 52.7 per cent compared to the previous year.”

    – See more at: http://www.bcrea.bc.ca/news-and-publications/news-room/news-releases/2016-04-statistical-release#sthash.s2cKitj7.dpuf

    Real estate and construction make up 25% of BC’s GDP. Of course we saw a healthy increase in the province’s GDP.

    (Response: There’s no doubt housing is selling. And those cashing in are helping raise BC GDP …but it’s a false economy …producing almost no long-term ongoing jobs. Where are the local sustaining jobs that come out of empty condos sitting there gathering dust and value on paper, or multi-million homes occupied for by one family member, ..while the real owners are back in Asia making their money, paying taxes there (maybe) and spending most of their incomes there … returning here only for occasional visits …and health care? h.o.)

  13. 13 says:

    I wonder if the Chinese that have all but overrun Richmond are worried about foreign ownership? I wonder if the East Indian population in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and South Vancouver are worried about foreign ownership? I wonder if the Iranian and other mid eastern types that are omni present in North and West Vancouver are worried about foreign ownership?
    Supply and demand dictate that unless you stop immigration Vancouvers supply is limited by geography.
    Yes the optics of the realtors on Christys trade mission are bad BUT are they bad in the eyes of Richmond, Surrey, N &W Vans current citizens?
    My guess is not really.

  14. morry says:

    The people of BC are being hosed. BCLibs are aiding and abetting in that process. Our kids and young couples have been squeezed out.

    Your last two posts illustrate the nightmare to which we have descended to in SUPER BEAUTIFUL BC.

  15. D. Malcolm Johnston says:

    Well, what would one expect? This government of grifters; by grifters, for grifters.

    The long term effects of this massive land sale to (dubious?) off-shore money is almost treason, but the reason is very simple, the massive tax cuts given to the wealthy by Gordon Campbell are impoverishing the province and his acolyte , Premier Photo-Op is just doing the “Campbell” way of business.

    The people who infect Victoria today do not care for the future, in fact they don’t even look past tomorrows free lunch.

    Corruption; money laundering, and graft are now the political way of life and what gob-smack’s me is that so many support this vile way of life.

    What really gives me a chuckle are the many so called Christians championing this horrible woman and her equally horrible government, letting the poor get poorer; collapsing our education system; and opening rewarding their financial political supporters.

    So bad is BC’s financial situation, that we need this foreign money to keep us financially afloat.

    The future is bleak, as the traitorous Liberals have filled their pockets with the illicit proceeds of selling our future and our children’s future off to the highest bidder.

    (Response: And yet, the people spoke …and chose her/Liberals as government. So the real issue is whether the NDP will come up with a viable, acceptable alternative … or just another campaign platform/strategy that turns most people off. h.o)

  16. morry says:

    Harvey – this story is growing bigger by the day. Hopefully there will be major push-backs against the BClibs.

    “Vancouver Board of Trade released a major new report. It found that Vancouver “ranks 15th out of the 17 metro regions for which data were available on housing affordability and gets a ‘D’ grade—only Shanghai and Hong Kong are less affordable. The region’s expensive housing acts as a major barrier to retaining and attracting high-end talent and business investment.”

    http://www.straight.com/news/702206/martyn-brown-essay-bcs-housing-crisis-and-what-do-about-it

    It is time for Canadians to push back rather than bending over.

  17. e.a.f. says:

    Of course the queen of the photo ops is going to take real estate people with her on the trip. As previous posters noted look who donates big time to the B.C. Lieberals.

    We do need to restrict who owns property in Canada. I personally like the Australian “solution” to who can own homes in their country. It has kept a lid on things.

    Many are waiting for a “bubble”. its not coming. China has 35 million, Millionaires. They would all like some of there money elsewhere and Australian, Hong Kong, India, and others don’t allow foreign ownership or restrict it.

    We can expect a number of those leaving G.B./London because they are now required to declare who they are when purchasing a home. No longer can they stand behind a shell or numbered company. there has been quite a bit written about how London realestate has been used to launder money.

    Even if the bubble “burst” and prices fell by 50%, most working people still could not afford purchase homes in Greater Vancouver. If a $2M to $4M home falls by 50%, its still unaffordable. Salaries are not high in this province.

    although we hear so much about how well B.C. is doing, food banks are still a growth industry, and we still have the highest rate of child poverty in Canada, one in five children and its been like that for 14 out of the last 15 years. That is not success. As the cost of housing increases so does the child poverty.

    Many people are just checking out of Vancouver, but at some point where do we go. You sell in Greater Vancouver and go to the “burbs”, this drives up their prices and suddenly they become a ‘hot spot’ with those selling and moving on. We are seeing the results of that now on Vancouver Island and Kelowna. At some point who will do the work in this province?

    its fine to make a lot of money selling to foreigners but where do you think your grandchildren are going to live and work? it won’t be here.

    As more and more Mandarin speakers, who are not interested in integrating, move in those who do not speak Mandarin will be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding jobs. We’ve seen this already and there is more to come. Where will we, Canadians, live and work. At the rate things are going no one will have to invade Canada, it will have been sold. We are a small country, population wise. We could be bought out in a glance.

    Christy Clark has no vision for the future. its the here and now. its the next election cycle.

    I can only say I do hope the B.C. Lieberal M.L.A.s and party are making a lot of money out of all of this selling the province off, because I’d hate to think they are doing it for free.

  18. Hawgwash says:

    The absolute least that should be done is close the loop holes that allow these foreign investors to evade taxes by purchasing in corporate names.

    Couple other things:
    For the entire reign of the BC liberals under Campbell and Clark, Bayside Middle School in Central Saanich has had a chronic roof leak. The NDP, parents and students lobbied the Government for a fix.

    Local NDP MLA Garry Holman was tireless on this file and succeeded in finally getting some attention. In May Christy showed up for a photo op to announce 7.1 million for roof repairs.

    Did she invite the hard working local MLA to be a part of the occasion? Nope.

    She did though, invite the defeated Liberal candidate from the last election to tag along.
    Can we expect to see that same candidate in 2017? Probably.

    This from our little community paper; “In May 2017, I hope the citizens of the riding remember the mean spiritedness that politicized this funding announcement.”

    She just never quits.

    On another parallel track, last year a couple sold their home to downsize into a brand new half million dollar condo, constructed by a large well known developer.

    They have been in less than a year and throughout the complex owners are having quality issues with flooring, fixtures and cabinetry. They have kitchen and bathroom cabinets with no doors because the hinges are pulling out of the cheap “wood” frames.

    They are all told “nothing will be done because it is normal wear and tear.”

    Such is the state of real estate development in Vancouver.

  19. Crankypants says:

    Don’t be surprised that this inclusion of the realty companies is by design. What better way to deflect from many other issues than have the media and those people living in the areas that being affected by the rapid escalation of housing costs focus on this one specific issue.

    There is also the real possibility that housing prices escalating at such a rapid rate could work to the BC Liberal Party’s advantage. The voters that have long seen their mortgage in the rear view mirror will not want to see their perceived values reduced and those that are mortgaged to the hilt could be in fear of not being able to remortgage when the time comes to renew.

    Campaigning to the voter’s wallet rather than moral and ethical values has proven to be a winning formula in the past and I don’t see anything changing going forward.

  20. BMCQ says:

    Once again, a very important subject that needs to be discussed.

    First of all I would suggest that the “Horse has already left the Barn” when it comes to the Vancouver and B.C. Real Estate Market.

    Unfortunate for far too many but true!

    I understand what H.O. and others are attempting to say here and I can see why many especially the mostly NDP Supporters that Post here are critical of The Clark Government for including the Chinese Real Estate Companies on the Economic Tour to Asia.

    What if Clark said NO to those Groups? Would there be claims of Racism from Horgan, Eby, Lali, Farnworth, and others in Opposition? Would the Media have been critical of Clark and charge her with Racism for turning down the Pro Chinese Real Estate Firms claiming some sort of Racist action? Especially when there is absolutely NO Legislation either Federal or Provincial that would give credence to a NO by Clark.

    As a matter of fact I would guess that if the two Firms were turned down and prohibited from travelling with the Premier there would be grounds for legal action.

    Now do not get me wrong, I do not mean to suggest that Clark thought about turning them down at all, I just want to point out that this could be and is in fact a very complicated set of circumstances.

    And yes, I believe the Optics of this whole thing do not look good at all.

    I would then ask this question. Just how many here think John Horgan or any other NDP Premier would have stepped up and said NO to the two Chinese Real Estate Firms?

    Be honest now!

    e.a.f. makes a very astute andvalid point when she states that, “Even if the Bubble Bursts and Real Estate Values retracted by 50% most in the Greater YVR could STILL NOT afford to purchase a home”!

    Most of the legislation called for by many Posters would need to be enacted Federally. There would be no way for any Province to legislate the banning of Real Estate for Foreign Purchasers.

    Even if your new King JT was to enact Legislation that would prevent the Foreign Purchase and Ownership of Canadian Real Estate the prices right across the Country would collapse.

    Where would that leave your 30 year old Daughter or Son that is currently Carrying a $ 600 K Mortgage on a $ property valued at $ 700K after it sinks to a real value of $ 450K?

    Any suggestions, Mom, Dad?

  21. BMCQ says:

    In Vancouver proper about 50% of us are Renters and the other approximately 50 are Home Owners. Believe it or not that is better than many fairly large or large Cities.

    That figure will no doubt change with the recent increase in Selling Prices of Real Estate.

    (Response: It’s not just a case of renters vs owners: those owners are becoming much older and richer …many fewer middle class families with kids … and too many of those “owned” places are just sitting empty, like giant safety deposit boxes …some gathering dust for years … contributing nothing to the communities where they exist. h.o)

  22. RS says:

    It would seem that foreign investing is a euphemism for parking $ in BC real estate and/or foreign $ laundering.
    Who really benefits when the power brokers behind the BC Christy Party drive stakes in the ground and nail FOR SALE signs to them?

  23. Ron says:

    Re: (Response: And yet, the people spoke …and chose her/Liberals as government.
    Harvey, I worked on past elections and it’s so easy to game the system (a la Florida and Jeb Bush) that you might as well say that we had a bloodless coup, and they will keep getting away with it unless there is REVOLUTION.
    Nothing will change until that happens and the entire electoral process is changed to stop the gaming that keeps the fascists in power in this now 3rd world pit stop for the nouveau crooked rich.

    (Response: I don’t agree. You clearly don’t like Clark/Libs …but it’s just not true to suggest BC’s last election was “a bloodless coup.” Nonsense! The people voted (at least those who turned out) and the Libs were elected …. using voting procedures scrutinized by the BC Elections office and the parties … in more ridings than the NDP. Plain and simple. Now, if you have EVIDENCE to the contrary, you should have called the RCMP .. but please don’t cry the blues that there was a coup …or even anything like Florida’s hanging chads. h.o)

  24. BMCQ says:

    H.O. – 23 – Response

    I believe the percentage numbers I quoted are for 2011. Then it was nowhere near as bad as it is since the huge increase in value of late. I would guess that those same numbers are much different.

    Like everyone else here I am very concerned with what is taking place with the Foreign, mostly Mainland Chinese Investment in Real Estate here in B.C. and the rest of Canada.

    It may very well be too late to fix this mess.

    Personally I would like to see the Premier approach John Horgan behind closed doors on a Bi-Partisan Basis and come up with ground rules to discuss this situation openly in the Fall Session. Hell, perhaps even a “Special Sitting of the Legislature” should be called for June!

    We really need a unified approach so we can remove Petty Politics from the argument. We need a made in B.C. solution that Clark and Horgan can take jointly to Ottawa and PM JT for discussion.

    Once the Political Posturing is removed from the equation and there is a unified approach by B.C. Leadership we would force an open debate in Ottawa.

    ALL Politicians, City Councils, Provinces, and the Federal Government must take this problem on and come to a solution sooner than later.

    Nothing should be off the table!

    Christy Clark and John Horgan could Show true Leadership and they could begin the process.

    There is no time to waste.

    I have some ideas but I am more than likely probably too far off Topic.

    This whole thing is too important to worry about scoring Political Brownie Points!

  25. Howard says:

    Maybe she finally figured out that promoting an unneeded hydro dam, global warming oil and gas fantasies and the like weren’t working; so that keeping the parabolic real estate bubble increasingly inflated was a better strategy to work on heading into 2017.

    One thing seems a certainty: some members of the NDP (whose ranks are rife with self-seeking hypocrites who own multiple homes and real estate investments) no doubt wish they could have some representation on the trip so they could rub shoulders with the realtors and throw some buckets of gasoline on the real estate fire too. The David Eby types are badly outnumbered
    in the NDP.

    I may have missed him, but personally I’m just waiting for Big Brother Baldrey to fill my TV screen and explain how people are over-reacting and that like all Liberal endeavours this trip is right and reasonable and for our own good.

    (Response: It’s hard to expect this over-pricing problem to be dealt with …if MLAs, their business and social friends and even relatives are all cashing in big time! But if the public keeps raising enough of a howl, esp as Election Day approaches …and the media realize people ARE mad as hell and cover it daily …something could change. h.o)

  26. e.a.f. says:

    I doubt if there would be an lawsuits if the trade delegation had not “welcomed” real estate representatives. Governments are free to select whomever they wish to accompany them on these trips.

    Now as to the selling of B.C. We have focused on family homes and commercial real estate but there is another type of land which has been sold by the B.C. Lieberals and can be sold on this trip: the land owned by the Crown. el gordo did it in his reign. it was called “pay its own way”. A classic e.g. of this was Crown land owned in the Comox Valley, Lannan Woods. People thought it was a forested park and used it as such. el gordo sent his local MLA to a large corp. in the Valley and offered it for sale for $350K. When the public found out they challenged it and it had to go to sealed bid. The corp. still won. The public was not able to raise enough money. The corp. logged half the “park” so it looks like a moon scape and it sits empty to this day. Probably made most of his money back with the logging. The difference between the public and corp. bid was approx. $400K. In the long run people lost a “park” and a corp. got a smoking hot deal which they most likely won’t develop for another 20 years.

    So while Christy and the cabal are off on the taxpayers $, who knows what is being sold. it could be Crown land and there won’t be anything we can do about it, just like in the Comox Valley with Lannan Woods. I would suggest that if any sales were going on this time the locals won’t hear about it until its a done deal.

    We know what public lands were sold off by el gordo, now we ought to find out what public lands have been sold off by the photo op queen.

  27. Hawgwash says:

    H O said; “So “foreigners” should have a place here … as investors, part-time residents and immigrants … buying places to live. But not as tax dodgers or money launderers, profiteers who buy up units just to flip them overseas to others who will then flip them again … before anyone even steps foot inside.”

    Last night I hung out with a bunch of folks under 45ish, the bulk being in the building trades. They all work together at various times, as contractors on new build houses; quality houses, mostly for Asian developers. Some were of Asian descent themselves.

    To a person they agreed that most condo presales are targeting and built for the offshore people who will never live in them.

    The result?

    The places are built as throw-aways. Places to park money or flip over and over. Not places to be actually occupied.

    So, the couple I mentioned up the page, who down sized into a condo that is already falling down around them are now experiencing that very concept of throw-away. Their development, after a year, is no more than 30% occupied. It was never meant to be lived in long term. If at all.

    It has nothing to do with “housing” and that is why realtors instead of language teachers and fish farmers are with Christy.

    (Response: It wouldn’t be so bad if they at least rented them out at reasonable rates to not only cover their maintenance costs but also alleviate our rental housing shortage. But they want to keep them “pristine” so they can sell them as “brand new” five years from now. The various governments must find a way to deal with this …not by banning all foreign purchases, but my managing the issue in a way that serves the city’s residents and province ABOVE the absentee investors. h.o)

  28. Lew says:

    There is a bubble in BC, and Christy is riding it.

    You can hardly watch a video on YouTube any more without a government ad popping up boasting about the booming BC economy and the balanced budget. As has been pointed out by others, the current “boom” is due to an unprecedented influx of foreign investment in real estate (with the resultant spin-off in construction and associated services) and tourism and manufacturing aided by the low Canadian dollar. This inclusion of real estate reps on a trade mission is not a one-off. Individuals from Royal LePage, Macdonald Real Estate Group, Viceroy Homes Ltd., and SSC Properties went to China with Christy last fall, and I doubt they went along to look at the flowers.

    Deliberately propping up our economy through real estate sales to foreigners seems unsustainable and short sighted. Our descendants won’t appreciate it. Christy can’t control the dollar, or the political forces that drive capital out of China but is happy to photo-op around the edges of the temporary result for as far as her vision extends, which is to the next election.

    With that in mind, watch for her to blame the NDP and the dark forces of NO during the campaign for the lack of her promised LNG projects in BC. The fact that John Horgan can’t control global markets affecting the viability of these projects any more than she can won’t be featured in the ads. Her efforts to attract another desperately needed fast food chain will:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJS9sUQu87c

  29. Gene The Bean says:

    As someone who got hosed for around fifty grand during the “leaky condo” debacle ….I wonder how many of these crappy condo’s will result in lawsuits and “home warranty” claims……

    Wash….rinse…..repeat….

    (Response: Fifty grand? You got a deal! My bill for our rebuild was just over $100 Grand … couldn’t even get Air Miles to pay it off! h.o)

  30. R says:

    Bc says families first but allows foreigners to park money in bc homes
    World class money parking?
    Whatever it takes to win?
    50 shades of corruption?
    Pay to play?

  31. e.a.f. says:

    Many of the homes are left by buyers from Communist China is because it could be bad feng shi, if others lived in the house, who had brought it “bad luck”. Many who buy these homes aren’t just doing it for the profit, some do it to have a “bolthole” should things go side ways in Communist China. They may not be able to get landed immigrant status here, but they will have a residence and they can stay for up to six months as visitors.

    Yes, there maybe a lot of money laundering and illegal money going into the purchase of these homes and that is something we as Canadians ought not to be encouraging.

    China is a huge country, but its also two countries. One is the urban, increasingly well off, along with the billionaires and millionaires. Then there is the peasant population in the country side for whom not much as changed. That is why Communist China has the largest standing Army in the world and the wealth like to have a “bolt hole”.

    I have nothing against people immigrating here, becoming part of Canada. I just don’t like my country’s realestate being used as a monopoly game so that we Canadians can not afford to live in our own country. At least we all now know how the First nations people felt when we started arriving.

    The problem in Vancouver is the same problem Richmond, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver have along with White Rock. a bulldoze special goes for almost 2 million and that is without a view.

  32. Rocker Rich says:

    A lot of pundits are already starting to write off the NDP’s prospects in 2017, especially after only one government staffer was charged in the ethnic-outreach probe. Still, John Horgan should have plenty to work with in pushing for change. The unaffordability of housing to young families in Vancouver, Victoria and probably soon Kelowna has huge ramifications for our provincial economy. If talented young folk can’t buy or rent affordable housing, they’ll either leave BC or, in the case of high-tech recruits, choose to go elsewhere.

  33. Hawgwash says:

    Although Gary is local, it still is an eastern paper that does some exposing.

    Talk about the wild, wild west.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/oversight-of-british-columbias-housing-market-is-a-sham/article30227434/

  34. Rainclouds says:

    Once again a reminder of what journalism used to be…..

    Two days ago I sent a letter to my MLA (Lib) informing him if his party isn’t prepared to address the housing crisis they wouldn’t be getting my vote which did go to them last time.

  35. psuperdave says:

    The BC Liberals are following the money, and I’ll bet BC Realtors (independent and as a group) donate significantly to their coffers. Let’s also not forget the now over one BILLION in annual fees collected by the Property Transfer Tax. When the tax was introduced in 1987, the average tax on a detached home was under $800 – it’s now well over $20K per transaction (and that’s for a one million Vancouver “fixer-upper”)! All the more money for the government to “balance” budgets.

    (Response: The media have reported donations from realtors on occasion. It would be great if they collated …through FOI … a whole list of donations from real estate agencies (and individuals if available) over the past two years. Bet that would produce a whole series of stories … and draw more listeners, readers, viewers than reporting on some charity walk, run, bike ride. h.o)

  36. e.a.f. says:

    for who is donating what to the B.C. Lieberals you might to check out Norm Farrell’s blog, In-sights. that is where I found out about the mining companies not paying that billion or the liebs collecting it. But then it did show that Teck mining had donated over $3M to the b.c. lieberaLS. usually Norm and or Bob Mackin have the stats on stuff.

  37. Hawgwash says:

    Does anyone know if a regular commercial carrier was used for that trip?
    Surely it wasn’t her pals from up the Sea to Sky, there.

  38. Lew says:

    @Hawgwash:
    From Hansard. Start at 1635 for the full disgraceful ducking by Christy Clark:
    J. Horgan: “I’m advised that the Haida Nation was not aware of the Premier’s arrival and departure. The cost of the trip was an $8,170 chartered plane for the Premier and her crew…”

    https://www.leg.bc.ca/documents-data/debate-transcripts/40th-parliament/5th-session/20160511pm-Hansard-v39n7

    As for psuperdave real estate donations question:

    “Since 2005, real estate boards, associations, and corporations have donated more than $360,000 to the BC Liberals, while real estate property and development groups have donated a whopping $2.8 million. Premier Christy Clark’s own party fundraiser is Bob Rennie, owner of Vancouver’s largest real estate market firm, whose company has shelled out over $250,000 to her party in the last six years alone.

    http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/18/news/economist-doubts-bc-liberals-intend-solve-vancouver-housing-crisis

    (Response: Thanks. Perfect example of how the blogosphere can work to provide first class info to us all. h.o)

  39. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#37 and Harvey
    There was an article a few weeks back in one of the Local Fishwrappers(The province?) about the top contributors to the Liberal Party and the Realtors and construction companies figured prominently in the top 10.

    (Response: Michael Smyth had a great one: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Smyth+bankrolling+Premier+Christy+Clark+Liberal+Party/11918161/story.html. And there was a really interesting article by Gary Mason in the Globe: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/oversight-of-british-columbias-housing-market-is-a-sham/article30227434/ The NDP should hammer this home at every opportunity…because I believe it is an issue that would stick …esp after the recent “trade mission” participant list. h.o)

  40. R says:

    CSIS boss warned us of foreign influence on politicians

  41. Hugh says:

    “Very low borrowing rates have encouraged household credit growth and underpinned rapidly rising housing prices, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, which together are a third of the Canadian housing market,” the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development warned again today in its latest outlook.

    “In relation to household incomes, both house prices and household debt are high,” it added, throwing more fuel on the fire for those who are fretting over bubble fears.

    “Macroprudential measures have strengthened recently but should be tightened further and targeted regionally.”

    The group didn’t suggest specific measures, but both Ottawa and British Columbia have acted.

    The OECD considers the risk of a “disorderly housing market correction,” notably in Toronto and Vancouver, as the biggest threat to Canada’s economy.”

    From:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/top-business-stories/policy-makers-should-hose-down-toronto-and-vancouver-housing-markets-oecd-warns/article30229710/

    So low interest rates are part of the problem. Since there is so much debt, the Bank of Canada will never raise the interest rate.

    Bubbles always burst, and ponzi schemes always end badly.

    (Response: I have heard talk before of a “correction” coming…but even as the global and North American economies were struggling, real estate in the Lower Mainland especially kept growing at an amazing rate. Now, as the economy starts to improve, I think the likelihood is we may see a slowing down …but not a bubble bursting. The only caveat… if China’s eco0nomy collapses and the multi millionaires there start to feel the squeeze, I could see a selloff of assets here … or maybe even an escape … to actually come and live in the homes/condos they own here! That would be good for us … property owners actually living and spending $$ here! ho)

  42. nonconfidencevote says:

    Harvey, a few more “outside” media reporting on Van-delusional….

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/bc-regulator-feels-heat-to-curb-real-estate-misconduct/article30227796/

    https://www.biv.com/article/2016/5/christy-clark-downplays-real-estate-ties-her-lates/

    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/brian-hutchinson-everything-stinks-about-christy-clarks-mysterious-salary-top-ups

    Its a shame we only hear about it from the Globe and the National Post……seems like ReMax and the Libs are the only advertisers in town these days…..
    Pathetic.

  43. r says:

    Is BC for sale to the highest bidder oh plus the occasional political donation?

  44. Hugh says:

    We want the RE bubble to burst, so that prices drop and homes become more affordable for ordinary people.

    The govt is probably terrified of the bubble bursting though.

  45. Hugh says:

    If house prices drop, people holding mortgages may find themselves owing more on the house than it is worth.

    Which makes them less likely to buy a new car, furniture or otherwise contribute to the general economy.

  46. BMCQ says:

    By reading MANY of the Comments here it is easy to see how Conspiracy Theories are Born!!

    Sure, it is ALL the fault of the B.C. Liberal Government that The Chinese are buying Real Estate in B.C./YVR Victoria/Vancouver Island, YYZ, Whistler and very soon the “Hottest Properties” are and will be Acreage ALL OVER the Province.

    No blame to ;ay at the feet of the former Federal Liberal and Conservative Governments? Nothing to do with the fact that we are the closest Western Country that has Historically been welcoming to Chinese and others from Foreign lands? Nothing to do with the fact that over the past many years we have had several periods of time that the CAD Tanked and it made those with U.S., UK, or other EU Money a Hell of a Deal sometimes resulting in a discount of 40%?

    I AGAIN ask the question.

    DOES ANAYONE that Posts here believe John Horgan would have turned down any Real Estate Corporation that applied to travel with the Group to China? I would ask just one person to answer that question. Come on Players, take a chance!!

    That Tax Fighting Super Man Bill Vander Zalm implemented the Property Purchase Tax. in 2015 that PPT brought in about $ 1.5 Billion into the B.C. Government, this year it may very well top out over $ 1.8 – $ 2 Billion.

    Personally I do not like the PPT but do you honestly believe Horgan would actually rescind the PPT? Why not ask him or the Champion of the Anarchists and Social Libertarian David Eby? Why not ask the tough questions.

    Horgan and his Minions have much in the way of criticism but exactly how much do they offer in IDEAS or SOLUTIONS!!!!!!!

    I ask any of you NDP supporters here to list just two suggestions that have come from the “Think Tank” of Horgan, eby, Lali, Farnstrom, and the other “People’s Champion” Spenser Chandra!!

    Personally I would like to see ALL off shore purchasers of Canadian Real Estate pay a surtax of say 25% which would be used to provide Seniors Housing and perhaps the young Mother with three Children doing her best to escape an abusive Marriage, and housing for others in legitimate need of assistance. I would not want to see any of that revenue go into providing Social Housing for the Drug Addicted Criminals that Prey on those innocents just mentioned.

    Of course if the Federal Government implemented a Sur Tax on Foreign Property Purchases someone like Eby would make new charges of “Head Tax” etc. etc. YIKES!!!

    I suppose I am beginning to veer off topic so that is it for now.

    I await the list of ideas and suggestions any of you have heard from John Horgan and his NDP Party!!

    I hope you do not trip over each other attempting to be first in line to Post that List!!

    Somehow I do not believe Harvey will be too busy Posting your list of Horgan’s solutions!!

    Oh and by the way, for at least 6 years now ALL of the so-called experts have called for a Bursting of the Bubble of YVR Real Estate, those same Genius’s have also forecast much higher Interest Rates, and once again those “Nostradamus Wanna Be’s” told us the $ CAD was climbing to $ 1.10 U.S..

    And just how accurate have they been to this point? In the meantime I bought Real Estate and U.S. Dollars, but hey, what do I know?

    I am not saying there will not be problems in the next year or so because as I have been Posting here since July 2014 I feel The Economies and Cultures of EU were in jeopardy and in danger of collapsing. In fact it is happening much sooner than I thought and right before our eyes, so all bets are off!!

    Keep in mind that China is The EU’s biggest Cstomer so you can then very quickly understand why Chinese want to get as much Money out of China as possible. That makes places like YVR, YYZ, Canada, LHR,JFK, LAX, SFO, and so many others in the Free World of Capitalism very attractive.

    Unfortunately too many of our own People here in Canada are suffering the consequences!!

  47. Hawgwash says:

    NCV @ 41;
    Thanks for those links, I think.

    As much as I dismiss the print media, I am somewhat thankful, the eastern press (if none other) still provide some good journalistic accountability of the goings on out here.

    What I find so astonishing, is comments like the one about the real estate top dog Carolyn Rogers, in the Globe;

    “She’s the top bureaucrat overseeing the real estate sector in B.C. Still, Carolyn Rogers admits she did not realize how wildly speculative Vancouver’s market had become until an explosion of public outrage earlier this year.”

    Like so many of her high end counterparts who make big bucks, are supposed to be intelligent and know something about their job;

    Are they really that stupid that they don’t know what is going on in their kingdom, or just slippery enough to think we believe their incredible BS?

    Sorry Ms. Rogers but, as they say, ignorance is no excuse.

    BTW, does that family name not ring a bell?

  48. Keith E. says:

    “R’ comment 45.

    “Is BC for sale to the highest bidder oh plus the occasional political donation?”

    Yes, you’re right, but the good news is for the pay to play crowd, it usually isn’t too high a fee.

    Might be off topic a bit Harvey, but couldn’t resist the irony.

    http://thetyee.ca/News/2016/06/02/Gordon-Campbell-Global-Corruption/

  49. Gene The Bean says:

    The defenders of the LIEberals are oh so predictable….see my #5 comment……

    Might be time to move on, I feel we are approaching the ‘Larry’ point……i

  50. BMCQ says:

    By the way, I do not see anywhere in my Post that I defended the B.C. Liberals.

    I have my concerns regardless of which Provincial Party would be in Power.

    Again, I would like to point out that any meaningful Legislation of any type would need to come from the Federal Government. Over to you Mr. PM!

    In the meantime I am struggling greatly to find anyone either on this Blog or in The Provincial NDP Opposition that might have even the slightest idea, solution or opinion on how to be constructive and fix this problem.

    The silence is Deafening!

    Beano – 51

    As usual it is easy for you to criticize other Posters but ONCE AGAIN that is all you offer.

    Again I ask you specifically point out even one CONSTRUCTIVE idea that may assist with this problem or runaway Real Estate speculation and inflated prices.

    Or would you simply point out to “The Great Unwashed” that Read and Post here any suggestions that Your Boy Horgan or any of his NDP Minions have offered up to solve this ever growing problem?

    Now is your chance to seize the opportunity to be constructive and offer something of substance for a change Bean.

    Or will you simply step back four paces and Punt?

    Seize the opportunity!

    Oh and while you are at it please point out to us where I defended The B.C. Liberal Party anywhere in my post.

    We all await your answer!

  51. Lew says:

    BMCQ, whether one agrees with their approach or not, in answer to your challenge here are two solutions presented in the form of bills introduced by the NDP very recently, and some direct interaction with the public to discuss the issue. Their ideas regarding a levy going into an assistance fund sounds remarkably like your own. I took your caution to heart and was careful not to trip over anyone in posting the list.

    http://bc.ctvnews.ca/ndp-introduces-bills-to-tax-real-estate-speculators-stop-shadow-flipping-1.2822051

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-ndp-vancouver-real-estate-town-hall-1.3494974

    Meanwhile, the BC Liberal minister responsible for housing thinks everything is cool:

    “We live in the jurisdiction with the most successful housing strategy in North American history.” – Rich Coleman, in the BC Legislature May 05, 2015.

  52. Rob says:

    Go to the Financial Reports and Political Contributions System
    Key in “development”, $3,872,529.
    Key in “realty” $325,000.
    Key in “construction”, $1,848,496.”
    Key in “contracting”, $477,787.
    Key in “Bob Rennie”, $314,850.
    How many others are missed because they do not have one of these words in their name?

    (Response: Great info! And I although I recognize donations are a valid …even praiseworthy … contribution to our democratic party system … I have never believed that people/companies who donate large sums to political parties don’t expect or at least aren’t hoping that will help them/their businesses win support, friendly policies … even , on occasion, financial returns on their “investments”. h.o)

  53. e.a.f. says:

    Not totally in love with the property transfer tax, but abolish it, don’t know. Having paid it out several times in the past few years, uck. On the other hand, it goes into the general revenue and its another form of taxation. So as I write this, I’d suggest we just hike the income tax and be done with all this mickey mouse stuff, which does require staff to take care of it and paper work for others. ‘

    When it comes to foreign buyers, I’m with BMCQ on a tax to be used for the reasons he cites. Part of the problem is people can’t afford to live here and using the money to provide affordable housing for working families is a very good idea and for those who are actually disabled and need decent housing.

    Affordable housing in Greater Vancouver would mean anyone earning less than approx. $80K a year. that way you get income blended housing, which is critical if you are to have a living, breathing city with neighbourhoods, small business, etc.

    As housing becomes more unaffordable, those who are working for a living will actually become homeless or very under housed. That does not bode well for the future of our province.

    We have need for two types of housing. The BMCQ isn’t too keen on, along with a whole lot of other people and we need housing for the average working person. People ought to have affordable housing in the area they work in. It cuts down on the time needed to communte, less need to roads and bridges, etc.

    Affordable housing is usually income blended so its better for everyone.

    Tax the hell out of foreign buyers, and take on the Australian model. It has kept their housing costs down, while ours has continued to rocket. It isn’t going to stop any time soon either.

    I don’t know what the NDP might say if the federal government had implemented “taxes”, but it wouldn’t have been considered a “head tax” which was applied only to people of colour. It would simply be a tax on those purchasing property who were not Canadians or landed immigrants.

    If Trump is elected who knows how many Americans will want to purchase land North of the 49th especially if he has a Republican Senate. We will have to face foreign purchasers as an issue sooner than later.

  54. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Here’s recent research from IntegrityBC:

    “IntegrityBC decided to zero in on the most generous political donors among BC’s property developers. To make the cut a company had to have donated at least $100,000 to the BC Liberal party from 2005 to January 2016.

    “Twenty-eight did.

    “We then looked at any personal donations by the owners.

    “In total, the 28 donated $11.375 million to the BC Liberals and $370,705 to the NDP. The BC Liberal total represents 15 per cent of all corporate donations and it doesn’t include donations by non-related companies of some of the owners. See IntegrityBC’s thread for the full breakout.”

    (I couldn’t find that link.)

    “The 28 companies donated enough to cover Premier Christy Clark’s stipend for more than two centuries.”

    For FB users, here’s a handy chart:
    https://www.facebook.com/IntegrityBritishColumbia/photos/p.1053303371417735/1053303371417735/?type=3&theater

    (Response: This is great! I’m loving it! The power of the people of the blogosphere… probably one of our best discussions in a long time! h.o)

  55. Rocker Rich says:

    Since my first posting, managed to hear a few minutes of Michael Campbell’s Wednesday blather on CKNW. Ever the optimist, Mike sees little to worry about: the skyhigh “average cost” of a home is largely due to statistical skewing by the astronomical sales of high-end properties.

    Oh well, at least ol’ Mike has a new idea to parrot, going forward. In my opinion, his assorted NW contributions tend to be a tired recitation of conservative nostrums that are at best debatable or have long since been disproven by historical analysis.

    I’ll start giving Michael Campbell more credence when he starts including BC Liberals, federal Tories or US Republicans in his “Goofy Award of the Week” segment on Money Talk. Bet that’ll be the twelth of never.

  56. John's Aghast says:

    Nicely done Lew! And in less than 150 words.

  57. morry says:

    what did Australia and other countries do to limit foreign house buyers?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/real-estate-housing-foreign-buyers-1.3479508

    those places haven’t thrown in the towel.

    (Response: First, as I’ve confessed earlier, I am a “foreign” condo-owner in the US … snowbird … as are hundreds of thousands of other Canadians. I do pay an “outsider” tax in a way … local Florida residents qualify for “homesteader” tax rate: not sure exactly how it works, but they are basically held to taxes based on their original purchase price (wow!) while the rest of us pay taxes based on the annual assessments. We do get a bit of a break in Canada: the homeowner grant, and in many cities, seniors get an additional grant, which helps. Australia is really quite different …so far away from their neighbours, there aren’t many convenient regular snowbird types: their big problem seemed to be absentee Asian and Arab investors buying up/holding lots of bigger homes/land. I don’t believe their way of dealing with their problems would easily or efficiently work here. h.o)

  58. Hawgwash says:

    Harvey; yes a very good discussion; 60 plus comments without the “A” word.

    Lew; touché, beau sabreur.

    Now;
    I just had an ugly thought.
    Well, two actually.

    I spent from ’97 to ’15 living first in Coal Harbour, then Yaletown. I saw firsthand, the approximately 60% vacancy rate in new built condos. Now we are seeing the same thing in other developing areas such as Marine Gateway and River District, to name just two, with very high vacancies.

    So…

    Suppose we get online voting crammed down our throats.
    All those units get a vote.
    Many of those eligible to vote will not have even seen Vancouver.
    You think they will vote against those who granted them free reign?

    Or…

    Suppose those absentee owners flee the homeland and take up full time residency in a city that isn’t even remotely prepared for such a massive occupation.

    Sewer, water, garbage, transit, schools, hospitals; all woefully inadequate right now.
    Ah, but we do have bike lanes at the ready though

  59. Hawgwash says:

    Ah yes, I missed the part about being a Canadian citizen, didn’t I? Well, I did say it was an ugly thought.

  60. BMCQ says:

    Lew – 53

    Where were you on the Granville Corridor Topic? I am quite sure you could have offered some interesting Commentary.

    Thank you for Posting the two News items. I was more or less aware of them but must admit I more or less discounted them as I thought the whole exercise was nothing more than a get the gang together, bang a few Drums, have a Photo-Op/News Conference and Rattle the Sabres a bit.

    The thing that turned me off about the whole exercise was the ridiculous efforts by Civil Liberties types like Horgan, Eby, Mumbles Robertson, Kerry Jang, and the rest of the “Visionite” Councillors proposing the actual spying on People and their Homes to find out if they are occupied by legitimate owners!! Are these the same people that are continually whining about “Privacy”? Talk about a Double Standard and a whole huge “Tub Load of Hipocrisy”!! How can anyone attempt to square that circle? Either you believe in privacy or you do not.

    The whole idea about policing single family residences to see who is living in those residences sis ridiculous nothing less.

    Can you imagine the cost to the Tax Payer to monitor residence occupancy status? Do we really need more highly salaried, highly benefitted and pensioned Government Workers Counting Beans? Come on People!

    I do not want to be too critical of Horgan as he has at least made an effort. We need to hear more from him though, not just the one kick at the cat.

    Full disclosure here:

    I am still almost certain that the Horse has left the Barn and the Door has slammed shut. It is more too late to arrest this festering sore but we must try.

    My Wife and I have had various Homes in California over the years. Much of the time the Homes have been vacant.

    I am Pro Immigration and must note that both my Parents families were Immigrants to Canada.

    I DO NOT want to paint myself into a corner here as I am almost certain several of my opinions will change and evolve on this.

    ………………………………….

    I am suggesting this only, should have started about 18 years ago but in fairness no Government of any Brand could have forecast what we are experiencing today.

    As I suggested earlier The Provinces and or Federal Government should enact Legislation to put a surcharge or Foregin Property Purchase of perhaps 10 – 25% on every Single Family Residence Sold in Canada. I suppose many would feel the Tax should be Provincial, that way Provinces like B.C. and Ontario would benefit most as it is those two Provinces that are experiencing the most Foreign Property Purchases. There must at the same time be some action on Commercial, Industrial, and Farming Properties, a different process.

    The Purchase of any of those SFR Properties should be tied to the U.S. Dollar, the Reserve Currency. That way if a home is sold at say $ 2 Million the Reserve Tax would then take that purchase price up to approximately $ 2.6 Million CAD and then the 25% Tax added. This would create a huge windfall for the Province and it would go a long way to Assisted Housing for Pensioners, and Special Needs Families.

    AGAIN this Money should not be used to provide Housing for The Drug Addled Career Criminals that have come here from other jurisdictions.

    We also need Cities to do their part here, they need to provide more Land at reasonable prices to partner with Developers and the Federal and Provincial Governments to provide Rental Housing at under market pricing. Again this Housing would be provided to those in need. The Federal Government needs to step up with Corporate and Personal Income Tax Incentives for those of us with the means can take advantage of the opportunity and at the same time be encouraged to provide quality housing at below market rents.

    Cities must also come into line and they must make it easier to develop properties. Cities should pull way back on their Permits, Fees, and other costs of Property Development. As an example the last House I built for my Family had a simple Residence to City Water Service come with a cost to me of over $ 13 K!! Took five City Workers all of one hour to hook City Water to my Property Line. totally unnecessary!!

    ALL Cities also need to become more efficient and they need to not only hold the line on Property Taxes they need to find ways to roll them back.

    Not only is it expensive to the Homeowner if affects the Renter as the Land Lord must pay the Bloated Tax for their Rental Properties.

    Let’s be honest here with redevelopment and so many new thousands of homes contributing Property Tax Dollars Cities have never had it so good!

    Contrary to popular believe the Australian Model is not quite what people like Horgan paint it to be. When they stipulate that Foreign Investors must only purchase New Built Properties that is almost always the case. All of our new Condo’s in Vancouver and New Build Houses are the ones mostly purchased. The assistance with that legislation is not huge.

    Keep in mind that in almost each and every case the costs of development are paid for the Developer but they are passed onto the final purchaser of that Property.

    I know most of you here do not like Jordan Bateman but trust me Bateman and his organization are a wonderful advocate for the Tax Payers of this Country.

    Read em and Weep!

    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2016/06/02/jordan-bateman-politicians-and-their-taxes-are-driving-up-home-prices/

    John – 59

    I see you have submitted another very positive to the Blog!!

    I for one am “Aghast”!!

    Pathetic!

    In closing Lew I believe for the most part Coleman has been one of the best Housing Minister we have had. I give him a lot of credit for what he has accomplished.

    We must also take note the comment you posted was from last year and things have changed quite drastically since then.

    Having said that it is far past time for Federal, Provincial, and Civic Politicians to take this catastrophic problem on and do something!

    I am not suggesting anything at all here but I must ask the question.

    Just how many of us could purchase Properties in places like Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, or more?

    Sorry, it is early here and did not proof read.

  61. BMCQ says:

    OF course I would miss the perhaps most important consideration when it comes to Taxing Foreign Buyers.

    Whatever Government does we MUST NOT do anything to create a detrimental affect on those local residents that are Mortgage Heavy on the Homes they have purchased over the past few years.

    We cannot create a scenario where Property Values more or less collapse and Property Owners are left with larger Mortgages than their Properties are worth.

    Underwater one might say.

  62. John's Aghast says:

    I don’t know much about Trade Delegations. (Okay, I don’t know anything about Trade Delegations.)
    How much do they cost compared to say, a hundred and fifty thousand dollar junket to Haida Gwaii?
    How do you get there? On the ‘Company Jet’ or commercial airline?
    What has Chrispy got to trade? Two real estate agents for one Human Rights commissioner?
    How are they financed? From the sale of LNG futures? Site C shares?
    How many bodies get to go besides Chrispy and the realtors? The Videographer team? The Security team?
    Hasn’t she got more pressing issues at home than flogging someone else’s Point Grey lodgings?
    Okay, rant over. Its going to be a beautiful day in BC, even if you are home challenged. Even nicer if you have a place to stay.

    (Response: I think trade trips CAN be good: they keep BC (and Canada) in the focus of those with cash to invest in industries and purchase resources. My understanding is also that the government picks up the tab for elected officials and bureaucrats and the odd outside expert needed on a trip. Other business contacts etc pay their own way…but gain some prestige/access by being associated with the official delegation …rather than just going there on their own. But these trips have to put forward our best: apologists for the realtors say they just added themselves to the list under an open invitation. Oh, yeah! Bet a group of pot farmers/legal retailers would not have been allowed to go along! Although the investment interest might have been worth billions! h.o)

  63. Keith E. says:

    J. Horgan was on Voice of B.C. June 2nd. addressing among many things that B.C. is a leader in Canada in gdp, economic growth and low unemployment #s. After pointing out that revenues from natural resources are mostly grim, much of the good news is based on the buying and selling of property and the related taxes. Island property is part of the feeding frenzy, often selling for over asking price as far north as Campbell river.

    J.H. also pointed out the Feds. had recently extended E.I. benefits to the southern interior, Osoyoos north including cristy’s parachuted into riding, which hadn’t been mentioned among all the ” look how we are handling the economy” and 25 million of the schools own money graciously being given back to them.

    If the merry go round comes to a stop, things would be looking pretty sad. As a poster pointed out, other jurisdictions are putting the brakes on foreign money skewing their r.e. markets, which for the libs. and their property backers is manna from heaven. Don’t expect any changes except window dressing from the status – quo before the election, and more of the same trade missions selling if they get in again. It’s just another resource to be exploited.

  64. John's Aghast says:

    Sorry to be a bother but I’m back! I may have misjudged the realtors on the Asset Disposal Delegation. Its quite likely that they’re there on a Burke Mountain dispersal sale. Remember the Burke Mountain properties that the Liberals disposed of last year? At a large discount? Well, its possible that those properties are at the predevelopment sales stage and the realtors are taking advantage of this junket to sell said properties. That might well be why they’re on board. I hope they do cover their own expenses though.
    My apologies for rambling on.

  65. BMCQ says:

    I may be a bit late here and although I feel it is more or less too late to control the runaway Foreign Investment in Local, Provincial, and Canadian Real Estate and we must put in place Rules, Regulations and various forms of Taxes that benefit the “Great Unwashed” of this Country.

    Three different times My Wife and I have sold U.S. Real estate and realized a Capital
    Gain.

    Each time The U.S. IRS have demanded us to Declare and File Tax Returns for those transactions. Each time they begin the process by serving the Seller with a Statement of Withholding on Dispositions by Foreign Persons of U.S. Real Property Interests.

    Each time they do that there is a Withholding Tax Amount that the IRS holds back and that amount is used in one’s final payment depending on Capital Gain and other incomes.

    The IRS is very strict with this and they take no Prisoners, especially with Technology today and the exchange of information between various Agencies.

    There is no reason we in Canada cannot treat Foreign investors the same. We could then administer a Capital Gain Tax that benefits Canada and it’s Citizens.

    I will not go into the minutia of the process here but I will attach a simple guide that might be of interest of those that care.

    http://moodysgartner.com/five-things-canadians-need-to-know-before-selling-us-real-estate/

    There are different Rules and Regulations that can be implemented regarding Profits of Foreign Investors in Canadian Real Estate.

    All it takes is the Political Will of various levels of Government.

    No time to waste on this, tomorrow I will be sending off e-mails to various Civic, Provincial and Federal politicians.

    Before someone chimes in and mumbles something about “we already do that”, please understand that we in Canada DO NOT do that!

    We must stop all loopholes and it is not legal for any Foreign Investor regardless of origin or income Tax Filing Jurisdiction to use nominees and other dubious ownership of Canadian Real Estate as a way to avoid the payment of legitimate Capital Gain Taxes in Canada.

    If the rules are not stringent enough time for PM J t, Premier Clark, and the Mayors of this Country to get on the job and do what is correct.

  66. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Excellent explanation, BMCQ. I thank you in advance for sending the info to the various levels of government.

    Perhaps you could also send it to John Horgan and Andrew Weaver and we can see if they put it in their election platforms.

    Something has to be done to get the horse back in the barn. If that means BC citizens won’t be able to realize their unearned real estate windfalls, so be it. A moderate year-over -year gain in value is all I ever anticipated for our home.

  67. 13 says:

    GBS windfall gains? Only if you are moving to Holden Alberta after selling your Vancouver bungalow. Property in Holden is free with a commitment to build a new home or open a business.
    We recently took advantage of (in your opinion) the windfall gain by selling our Coquitlam home.
    The windfall was just enough to buy again in Sardis.
    Windfall?

  68. G. Barry Stewart says:

    13, welcome to Chilliwack!

    I’ll stand by my windfall term.

    I know the $100K+ rise in the “value” of my home in the last few years has little to do with the BC or Canadian economy or anything I’ve done to the house. If it goes back to a $10,000 rise, no big deal. That’s all I anticipated anyway… the rest was a blip, or windfall.

    If the government puts a scare into the offshore buyers, to cool off the market and make it so young Canadians can actually afford to live here, that’s more than fine by me.

    People will still be able to sell in Metro and buy in the Valley, pocketing the difference.

  69. BMCQ says:

    G. Barry – 69

    13 – 70

    To clarity:

    When I said that, “We do not do that”, I should have added that, “in my opinion it does not appear that Canadian Revenue Agencies DO NOT Monitor, Police, and Enforce Sales of Canadian Real Estate Purchases, Sales, and Capital Gains efficiently enough to ensure that those Local and Foreign Investors pay the appropriate amount of Capital Gains on their Profits. Especially those that are well well skilled at manipulating the system with Shadow Flips and other means.

    Saddest part of this is the fact that CRA do have the technological ability to monitor and keep the system and those same Local and Foreign Investors honest.

    CRA are allowing literally $ Billions of Dollars in Taxation to escape the Canadian Government and it is a Bloody Shame!

    This disgusting situation must be addressed and the Canadian Tax Payer deserves the help in paying for Services right across the Country.

    Again, this is another situation that Federal MP’s, Provincial MLA’s and Civic politicians right across the Country should be paying attention to.

    All Citizens, Tax Payers and All Politicians at every level need to demand better and more from our Federal Government and CRA!

    Do not get me wrong, I am not attempting to paint PM as the Villain here, this problem has existed for Generations under a variety of different Politicians from ALL Parties.

    It is only the past eight years or so this horrific problem has become so serious.

    A great deal of responsibility falls at the feet of MSM, Media need to investigate and report it is not only their job but their responsibility!

    It is gratifying to know that in just a few days H.O., Readers and Posters to “Keeping it Real” have at least created a discussion , it is now time for this situation to get National attention in Main Stream Media.

  70. BMCQ says:

    I have several Friends and Family that now follow this Blog so I should also add that personally My Company and Personally we have bought and sold a significant amount of Real Estate over the years and it has ALL been done on legally and within the Laws of the Land.

    Not one single Dollar has been earned contrary to Civic, Provincial, Federal or CRA Laws.

    Yes, we have used each and every Legal Means to avoid Tax but we have never stepped over the line of doing anything Contrary to the CRA, Federal, or Provincial regulations

    (Response: Nothing wrong with legally avoiding or minimizing taxes. But when realtors or non-realtors working in collusion with realtors conspire to scam both clients and our laws, that raises whole new issues. We want to be welcoming to new residents and new investors ..but no reason we should be patsies in our land: sometimes we need governments and new laws to protect the integrity of our processes and our people… and I’m all for that. h.o)

  71. G. Barry Stewart says:

    Adding credence to my “windfall” descriptor:

    In this story in the Vancouver Sun, a Vancouver mathematician has worked out that “Vancouver single-family homeowners collectively earned about $24.6 billion last year by simply “twiddling their thumbs,” as von Bergmann puts it. That’s more than the entire population of Vancouver earned — $17.9 billion — by actually working.”

    http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/homeowners-earned-more-for-twiddling-thumbs-than-vancouverites-did-by-actually-working

  72. 13 says:

    GBS if and when the government steps in and somehow cools the market people will be hurt. If the government steps in and craters the market people will be devastated. Like it or not the Vancouver real estate boom has rippled its way thought the lower mainland and Van Isl. What do the people that are legitimate first time buyers do. If they bought in Burnaby, Coquitlam etc. Property values drop 30%. Mortgage rates go up to a modest 6 %.
    Your math stats are a clear example of figures that lie and liars that figure.

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