Thursday, November 17, 2011

Restricting Off-shore ownership picking up steam..

Big piece on CBC BC News about the up-coming civic election and calls for restricting RE ownership by off-shore investors.

An astounding number was revealed. I cannot unfortunately find a link yet (doesn't seem to be up)

74% of recent buyers of Richmond and Vancouver RE are thought to be from Mainland China according to Landcor. Money escaping possible future restrictions.

One listing 'boasted' that it had never been lived in and it's ten year old appliances were never used.

In my building we have absentee owners from Korea, China, Taiwan, Russia, Israel and Dubia. Some units are rented and others are left permanently empty- though there is someone who comes round to pick up the mail and pay bills on the empty ones.

How did we get into such a mess? Lax rules for one. even Australia has restrictions on off-shore ownership, even China does, but we don't. Why not?

The only people to bring it up was Peter Ladner, after he left office, and a solitary councillor who says 'we should look at the matter'.

Too late!

And I doubt one solitary Vancouver councillor can do much. The Australian rules came form their Federal government, not from one city councillor, however well intentioned. Can you imagine our own Premier and Prime Minster making such a pronouncement.

Lets start with punitive taxes on any house not occupied for 6 months a year. We have a city that is unaffordable for those who work here and make it liveable for the parvenues, and keeps the city safe and sound for their investments.

The piece on the CBC ended with a Chinese candidate in Richmond saying how Chinese investors should be directed to investing in businesses instead of RE. Quite right.