Yesterday the British Columbia government finally released a long awaited report on BC real estate. This report was supposed to ease fears that foreign buyers are pricing locals out of the market, and claimed that only 5 per cent of sales were by foreign buyers.
However, the data they relied on was only from a three week period. Hard to identify trends or causation when the sample size is so limited.
But that’s not even my biggest issue.
It says 95 per cent of buyers are “local,” but did you know that none of the 41,000 millionaire Chinese immigrants who settled here between 2006-2011 are considered “foreign buyers”? I'll explain why.
The report makes no mention of one of the largest loopholes in Canadian immigration, the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program. This allows millionaire investors to pay Quebec a whopping $800,000 to be granted immediate permanent residency in Canada. While conditions state they must settle in Quebec, the majority end up here in Vancouver. Quebec gets the cash, we get the person.
You will have to forgive this free market enthusiast for feeling awfully protectionist on this issue. The market isn’t truly free when we allow foreigners to literally buy permanent residency in Canada through the Quebec Investor Immigrant Program, and bring with them heaps of cash of unknown origin.