Premier Christy Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong

B.C. taking over regulation of real estate

Premier Christy Clark says realtors have had a decade to govern themselves, and have failed to do it

A new Superintendent of Real Estate will take over regulation of the B.C. industry, Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday.

Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong said a the current industry-led Real Estate Council of B.C. will be replaced by a board with a majority of “public interest, non-industry members,” and fines for real estate misconduct are to be increased.

Clark said the maximum fine for individuals will go to $250,000, and twice that for real estate brokerages. The government is adopting all the recommendations of an independent advisory group, including banning realtors from representing both buyer and seller in a transaction.

“The real estate sector has had 10 years to get it right on self-regulation and they haven’t,” Clark said.

Clark said there will be more changes announced in the next few weeks to help people get into the real estate market in urban areas where house prices are spiralling.

In his latest budget, de Jong increased the property purchase tax exemption level from $475,000 to $750,000 for new homes only, and increased the tax rate from two to three per cent on the value of homes in excess of $2 million.

Clark was non-committal on a proposal by the City of Vancouver to impose a tax on vacant homes. She said the province is studying whether it has a role to play in such a tax, and repeated the federal housing minister’s position that all levels of government are needed to deal with housing affordability.

 

Just Posted

Four years for manslaughter in Surrey drive-by shooting

Mahdi Halane was rendered a quadriplegic until his death in hospital six years later at age 24.

Author at Surrey event glad to have book published ‘before reality totally overtakes fiction’

Ari Goelman, a business and criminology instructor, speaks at KPU Reads gathering Jan. 22

Cloverdale banker shares his love of swing dancing

Cloverdale’s Phillip Kunz shows dancing newcomers how to get into the swing of things

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

White Rock cannabis and adult entertainment bylaws to move to public hearings

Council will seek input on potential of allowing contentious businesses in city limits

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

League’s all-stars hit the ice in Langley

PJHL hosts top junior B players for all-star game

Most Read