Tories look to borrow a page from Australian playbook

Tories look to borrow a page from Australian playbook

Tories look to borrow a page from Australian playbook As voters get ready to head to the polls on Monday, investors are still being wooed by the incumbent Conservatives who are promising to consider a ban on foreign investors who to buy existing residential housing in tight markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, an idea they’ve borrowed from their counterparts down under.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper floated the idea in his party’s full election platform, which was just released, that a re-elected Conservative government would consider an Australian-style solution to the issue.

“Given the importance of home ownership, our government wants to make sure it remains a dream within reach for the average Canadian family,” read the platform.

“Some reports have suggested that speculative foreign non-resident buyers are a significant factor in driving homes out of the price range of average families, especially in Vancouver and Toronto. If speculators are driving up the cost of housing to unaffordable levels, that’s something the government can and should address.

“Other countries, like Australia, have put in place regulations that limit the ability of foreign buyers to purchase existing houses for investment purposes.”

The Australian policy is supposed to prevent wealthy foreign buyers from driving the price of average homes beyond the reach of Australian families, while at the same time growing the country’s housing stock.

But not everyone agrees this policy works, pointing out that Sydney’s housing market is equally unaffordable as Vancouver’s.

“We’re not intending to zero in a punitive way on people who come here to invest,” B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong told The Vancouver Sun. “Our general approach in building the economy has been that foreign investment is good for B.C.”
  • Husband of an immigrant 2015-10-15 4:37:05 PM
    It's more of the same "blame the foreigners" tripe from the two-faces Conservatives. They're happy to sell off our oil rights and the Canadian Wheat Board to their foreign friends at steep discount to from the market value, but then they blame foreigners for somehow "ruining" our housing market, when these foreigners actually have to pay fair market value. Come again?!

    Actually, no, don't come again. Just leave.
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  • Ron 2015-10-15 5:17:19 PM
    Stephen don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out. Go & get behind that fire wall. Good Riddance to Bad Medicine. As the sign says in Bruce County. Dump Harper before he Dumps Canada.
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  • Debbie 2015-10-15 6:56:52 PM
    China has strict regulations on what you can buy over there as a foreigner, and in India, you can't own property unless you are of that nationality. At most both these countries have strictest regulations on foreign ownership. Yet we allow them to come over here and purchase 2 or 3 houses and never even live in them. I don't see this as makes sense. Why is everything now a days about race? This is Canada, at least let Canadians have a chance....that's all the Conservatives are saying.
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