On June 29, B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced steps to combat fraudulent and unethical behaviour in the B.C. real estate industry. The proposed policies to strengthen consumer protection and confidence are absolutely the right thing do. Purchasing or selling a home is among the most significant financial decisions we make. It comes with enough risk and stress in the best of circumstances. We should not also have to worry about the integrity of the agents who are supposed to be working in our best interests.
But these measures will not dent Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis. It is not unethical behaviour or fraud that makes prices here sky-high. They are astronomical because there is an ultimate buyer willing to pay these prices. To improve affordability, both governments and we, the public, have to make changes that address each of the different contributing factors to current market conditions: foreign capital, local demand, and constraints on supply.