Thursday, June 30, 2016


Now that we are allowed to talk about the Lower Mainland real estate market as a commodity market driven by foreign financial institutions (mostly Chinese), something similar is happening in our provincial parks, where RV rental companies are snatching up campsites and, after doubling or sometimes tripling the government permit price, are adding them to travel packages geared at the tourist market (mostly European).

In other news, the Vancouver School Board has said no to the provincial government's suggestion that it sell VSB-owned land underneath the Kingsgate Mall (valued at 80 million dollars) in an effort to balance its budget. In response, B.C. Education Minister Mike Bernier tweeted: "Very disappointed the #VSB had a chance to help students and they said no they would rather own a mall."

Mike, how is selling the Kingsgate Mall lands going to help students? Not the students in school today, but those down the road? A longer term solution might involve sharing some of the property transfer tax revenue the government has benefitted from despite having lost millions of it while turning a blind eye to the now-outlawed practice of "shadow flipping."

Which brings us to another recent announcement: the B.C. government will once again regulate the real estate industry (the previous premier, Gordon Campbell, had it deregulated because his brother the moneytalker told him to), this time appointing a Superintendent of Real Estate.

Parks have superintendents, schools have superintendents, so why can't real estate?

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