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Christy Clark says no to taxing foreign real estate investors

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DH Vancouver Staff May 13, 2015 10:34 am

Metro Vancouver residents are running out of options when it comes to buying a home, and Premier Christy Clark is not about to help.

With housing prices climbing dramatically – up 12 per cent from 2014 as of April – those fed up with the unaffordability of Vancouver have been asking for help from municipal, provincial and federal leaders, but to no avail.

Clark is satisfied with the current market and worries that if taxes on foreign real estate investors are implemented, “housing prices will drop.”

“That’s good for first-time home buyers but not for anybody who is depending on the equity in their home to maybe get a loan or use that to finance some other projects,” she said Tuesday.

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18,000 people have already signed an online petition to restrict foreign ownership in Vancouver. “It’s time to stand up and protect our community—Vancouver is not for sale,” the petition reads. “The housing needs of Greater Vancouver residents are more important than the profit margins of foreign speculators.”

In Australia, the government recently proposed a policy that would fine or jail foreign investors over illegal home sales. The crackdown calls for fines of CAD$121,000 and up to three years jail for individuals found breaking the rules. Companies will face higher fines of CAD$605,000. Third parties, such as real estate agents, who assist foreigners in breaching the laws could be fined up to CAD$40,400 for individuals and CAD$202,000 for companies.

But in Canada, no such law exists.

The Vancouverites for Affordable Housing organization is now planning an Affordable Housing Rally to take place on Sunday, May 24 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Statistics about Vancouver housing:

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DH Vancouver Staff
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