VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The revelation that foreign firms are legally allowed to conduct real estate business in BC without licenses has Opposition Housing Critic David Eby asking how this was allowed to happen.
The Globe and Mail reported this morning that companies like Shanghai-based Vanfun have been selling homes in BC by exploiting a regulatory loophole.
Other markets popular with foreign buyers like Ontario and California require anyone providing real estate services to be registered locally, but that’s not the case in BC.
LISTEN: David Eby speaks live with NEWS 1130 anchors Jim Bennie and Alison Bailey
“It makes absolutely no sense to me that we would have fewer regulations for real estate agents operating outside Canada than we do for real estate agents who are here in British Columbia operating locally,” Eby says.
He says he’s “stunned” that after months of real estate scandals, a review of real estate agent conduct, and much hand-wringing on the part of the government about real estate, this loophole appears to have been missed.
“Frankly, I think (the government) is willfully blind. They don’t care about what’s happening in the real estate market, they just want to get to the next election; that’s what the foreign buyer tax was about. They’re not interested in the deeper systemic issues in the market.”
On top of closing the loophole, Eby wants to see a thorough review of the province’s real estate market, complete with recommendations from industry experts.
He says the current rules are unfair to local real estate agents who follow the rules, and to consumers who have little recourse if they’re ripped off by a foreign real estate company.