British Columbia has vowed to track foreign ownership and perhaps it’s time the rest of Canada does the same.
“I like the idea of tracking foreign ownership data,” Nick Bachusky, a broker with Verico
The Mortgage Advisors, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “To be honest, it wouldn’t be the worst thing to see it tracked everywhere in Canada; it would allow MPs to make better decisions around housing that will benefit Canadians.”
B.C. Finance Minister Mike De Jong announced earlier this week a number of housing measures in the province’s annual budget.
One of those included a vow to track foreign ownership of properties in the province by requiring buyers to disclose citizenship. That information, which has not been collected since 1998, will help measure how influential foreign ownership influences home prices.
It’s the latest in a number of bids meant to measure foreign buyer data.
In late 2014, CMHC asked property managers to disclose the percentage of units owned by foreign investors as part of its Rental Market Survey. However, many were skeptical of the methodology used by the crown corporation, arguing many data gaps remained.
For its part, British Columbia has not yet said what it will do with the data, but Bachusky has an idea.
“Rules have to be put in place and there should be a heavy taxation (for foreign buyers); if they are fleeing the country after taking advantage of our infrastructure, they should be taxed heavier than Canadian buyers,” Bachusky said. “I don’t want to see foreign buyers pricing out Canadians.”