VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s too early to say if it will allow more people to enter the local housing market, but a new public registry identifying property owners has support from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
Board President Phil Moore, who represents more than 14,000 realtors and brokers, says it’s difficult to predict how this will impact sales, but there’s no reason for investors to hide behind numbered companies.
“Any time that the government places in measures that make people accountable to pay the taxes that are due, when 99 per cent of the citizens are paying their taxes, we certainly endorse those changes.”
Moore adds the board spent two years consulting with the provincial government on this and it’s not clear if proposed changes will make prices come down.
“It’s really going to be difficult to understand if it’s going to really create more affordable housing. It really depends on how the government’s going to structure this. We really support the government collecting the tax that they’re owed.”
Moore, who has been a realtor since 1989, is expecting the registry to make property transfers more transparent and help the provincial government crackdown on money laundering.
“It’s one step in the right direction and it’s proactive, instead of reactive. We’ve also seen it implemented with pre-sales on new construction and that’s a positive measure as well.”
He feels investors started hiding behind numbered companies about two years ago when the 15 per cent foreign buyers’ tax was introduced to keep speculators from leaving homes vacant, so this legislation also gives the province more accurate information to better analyze the market.
“Better measures to know who really owns the house when the house transfers to another party’s name. There’s going to be more of an accountability of a paper trail.”
The government’s collecting feedback on draft legislation until August 19.