B.C. real estate sector needs a shakeup.
And it needs it badly.
There are many but the most important is that it is self-regulating.
And like with a lot of other self-regulating bodies for professional people that can lead to all sorts of problems.
There is a tendency to promote the positive and ignore the negative.
One clear issue comes to mind – the recent revelation that money laundering by organized crime in B.C. casinos to the tune of more than $100 million is a clear-cut example.
Some of those proceeds were used to invest in B.C.’s hot real estate market, according to a B.C. government report produced by a former high-ranking RCMP officer.
“The RCMP notes that illegal money entering the world of real estate can be hidden through numerous devices; including property registration, management companies, mortgages, double and triple layers of ownership, and beneficial ownership,” the report said.
And the transaction were sufficiently large enough that it only increased the price frenzy for Vancouver real estate.
And needless to say the B.C. Real Estate Association said the influence of organized crime on the Vancouver housing market was small.
But the B.C. government concerned – no matter how small the amount of dirty money is invested in B.C. real estate. ordered another report.
This will strictly deal with the province’s real estate sector and connections to organized crime.
The latest shell game by some realtors is to take a house off the market and then re-list it.
A recent article in The Globe and Mail points out a disturbing trend – Realtors in the struggling detached home market in Vancouver are “recycling” listings — pulling homes that aren’t selling off the market, then bringing them back as supposedly “new” listings at a lower price.
And because the Vancouver Real Estate Board does provide previous asking prices and previous listing information – unlike in the United States – a potential home buyer cannot get accurate information about the property.
And the real estate industry wants to keep it that way. For years the Toronto Real Estate Board has been waging a legal fight in not wanting to make that information public.