A meeting with HomeUnion Investment revealed that in Canada, there is still no fixed data regarding the number of foreign investors in real estate. Though it has been determined that around 2.3 per cent of the condominiums in Vancouver are under foreign investors, the number of Canadian homes owned by offshore accounts is still unknown because of the lack of data. It is the opinion of real estate experts that the policy makers should be aware of the exact numbers of foreign investors and their properties to be able to make sure that the country’s status when it comes to real estate remains stable.
In Vancouver, the topic of foreign investment has been a sensitive issue especially with residents who are burdened with the continued rise of the prices of houses that are listed in the market. These continued increase in demand makes it more attractive for foreigners to invest their money in the country. Many are also worried especially in the event that the prices of the houses in the market starts to go south and the offshore investors decide to pull out their money and this could make the housing situation in Canada far worse than it is now.
It was recently suggested by Greg Robertson, the Mayor of Vancouver to Christy Clark, the B.C. Premier, that a speculation tax should be imposed on investors who are investing on Canadian homes and luxurious properties. The suggestion was not approved by Clark.
The issue of the continued rise of real estate properties and the interest of foreign investors has been denied by the B.C. Real Estate Association. Furthermore, they clarified that the continued increase in prices is due to the restricted geography of the city and the limited amount of detached homes available in the market.
According to the chief economist of the B.C. Real Estate Association, Cameron Muir, hard data is not easily gathered thus the lack thereof. The government is currently not collecting the data as well thus there is no initiative for collection. The issue regarding the data on offshore investment was tackled after there was an uproar regarding the issue on affordability crisis in Vancouver and has created spark even in the social media platform Twitter.