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Taxing foreign investors would harm Canada’s image

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Real Estate Professional | 16 May 2016, 08:30 AM Agree 0
Leading real estate veteran argues against measures to reign in foreign investment
  • Murray Schultz | 16 May 2016, 01:23 PM Agree 0
    Sorry, don't agree. Canada is not, and should not be, for sale. Imagine if the absolute freedom from scrutiny and taxation we provide to real estate investors in Canada were to be offered by our counterparts in the countries of origin of this incoming capital. It just doesn't exist. Canada's image, as it stands is one of ease of use and little more. I am not convinced that substantial add-on investment component exists for those who purchase real estate in an effort to park their money, as they have discovered that trading $800K and a couple of Canadian jobs in a temporary business, in return for a passport comes up short in comparison. With upwards of 80% of mid to high-end real estate transactions coming directly from Mainland Chinese money in Vancouver's lower mainland, I think it is fair to say that a significant distortion in our real estate market has been the product. Pretending this does not exist fails to protect the people our regulators and politicians have given oath to serve.
  • Oscar Vidal-Calvet | 16 May 2016, 01:53 PM Agree 0
    Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, told REP. “Knee-jerk public policy like a change in taxes for political reasons would be a very sad more for a country known for its tolerance. Brand Canada would be harmed.”

    I do not agree with Mr. Soper's opinion. For quite some time also I have been saying that "Foreign Investors" should be taxed at a much higher rate of Land Transfer Tax, and if needed a higher Capital Gain Taxes for Non-residents; this does not mean absolutely to harm Canada, all the contrary this is to protect it against international speculators.
  • Tony | 16 May 2016, 01:53 PM Agree 0
    Yes it will harm our image of being the money laundering capital of the world. Meanwhile hard working Canadians can't afford a home because Asians with suitcases of cash own our country while government sits on its hands as usual. Typical real estate cartel garbage.
  • Bob | 16 May 2016, 02:33 PM Agree 0
    Tony is BANG on with his comments. Phill, perhaps get on the front lines of real estate & take your head out of the sand.
    When the common man / woman on the street can feel & see we are being " PLUNDERED " by one of the most corrupt countries on the planet...then's time to wonder how many of our politicians are on the take as well that NOTHING is being done.
    As they navel gaze & watch home after home, business & industry all being bought up by " dirty money" what possible long term positive benefit can this have for Canada & BC. NONE!
    We allow them to cheat our tax system..cheat our senior citizens out of their full prices up, have a student & perhaps a mother living in a multi million dollar home...declaring no your & my tax dollars subsidise their education, medical, property taxes...everything... What is the benefit to our economy ? We are nothing more than a safer haven for their ill gotten $$.

    How to solve it ? EASY...when the stock market goes on a dangerous tear...they suspend trading...We NEED to do the same. Shut down ALL foreign ownership NOW for a minimum of 5 years. Now let's study & research perhaps a better way to protect our homes & resources. To sit back & do nothing & / or pretend nothing is happening is irresponsible at the very least.

    Canada & BC is one of the most desirable places on the planet to be...we should be selecting from the " cream of the Crop" of the world, that want to come here to assimilate & add to our society... not the bottom of the barrel cheaters, drug lords & money launderers that are Plundering our nation right now.

    Christy & Justin, wake up...or is this to be your legacy ? Sold out Canada for .50 cents on the dollar.
  • NiceGuy! | 16 May 2016, 03:20 PM Agree 0
    Totally agree with the writer. Taxes are not the answer to the problem. Our low dollar causing local inflation and over taxation by our governments mean that Canadians can't afford a home. Outside of the major 3 cities Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver lots of real estate deals to be had, especially Alberta with the low oil. So stop trying to control everything and let the market do its job. Move to Cuba if you want housing price and ownership controls. Silly cry babies always wanting to get something they can't afford. We should embrace the investments as a sign that we are a great place to live vs punish people for investing here which eventually will move here and spend their wealth and create jobs and prosperity A smart person told me once, you can't drink wine on a beer budget. So in this case you either rent or move to a place you can afford.
  • Spencer | 16 May 2016, 04:49 PM Agree 0
    I disagree with his comment. I think they're should be a tax on the purchase if it is not your primary resident as a foreign buyer and there should be an increased property tax if it is not your primary resident. This extra money should be used to fund new/first time buyer programs to get in to them in the market.

    As this is a luxury item for these people and not necessities. We must stop our own tax paying citizens from being bought out of the market by someone that does not reside here or stimulates our economy.
  • James Oberian | 16 May 2016, 05:53 PM Agree 0
    Mr. Soper misses the point here. The comparison of the wealthy segment of 1.4 BILLION Mainland Chinese investing in a country of merely 35M people (and actually mainly only in Toronto and Vancouver, so take that down to two cities comprising only about 8M people) is ludicrous. Yes, Canadian investors did prop up sales in places such as AZ a few years back. But did that drive Phoenix and Scottsdale prices into the stratosphere? No, it simply helped to stabilize markets that were in otherwise downward freefall (and remember that we're 1/10 the size of the US). A city the size of Vancouver simply cannot withstand the onslaught of SO MANY people with SO MUCH money paying SUCH HIGH PRICES for its real estate! One of two things is going to happen: either this frantic Chinese buying is going to continue and drive everybody else out of that city (which it is actually doing right now; just look at the now-blazing-hot Victoria market) OR China may implode economically as some are predicting and the whole deck of cards will come crashing down (not likely, in the near-term anyway). Australia has protected its citizens against this type of thing and Canada should as well. The thing so many people forget is that this is a question of NUMBERS - OVERWHELMING NUMBERS....and questionable sources of the money as well being used to buy our real estate. Vancouverites are literally being driven out of their own city, and it's not right...
  • William | 16 May 2016, 08:25 PM Agree 0
    ...maybe Phil would like to read the story of Vancouver RE/MAX realtor Layla Yang and how she apparently threatened a potential buyer of one of her properties who wouldn't participate in a multiple-offer scenario. She allegedly mentioned that he might incur the wrath of "the people above me - the Harbin gangs - you don't want to f------ be alive"...if you don't think this sort of stuff goes on in one way or another every day in Vancouver you'd better think again. The massive amounts of money coming in from China has "laundered" written all over it. Vancouver should be opening up dry cleaning shops in every neighbourhood just to "clean" all the dirty money that is going in there...
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