Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson issued stern warnings to provincial and federal governments of the need to “rein in the excesses of the city’s housing market.”
This follows recent calls from the Bank of Nova Scotia and the National Bank of Canada calling on the feds to do something about the steady increases in housing prices. Factors behind these price hikes have been blamed on a low loonie, low interest rates, low housing supply and especially foreign real estate investments particulary by the Chinese.
Brian Porter CEO of Scotia bank, suggested raising down payments, increasing the qualifying rate for five year fixed mortgages and imposing a temporary luxuary tax on foreign buyers as solutions to the problem.
Louis Vachon National Bank of Canada CEO echoed similar sentiments suggesting that Canada should eventually increase minimum mortgage down payments.
Robertson also considered the suggestion of Benhamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets to introduce what is called a flipping tax, to curb foreign investment. He went to add that proper data on foreign investment is the necessary precursor to any such action
“I support both these tools (luxury and flipping taxes) and will continue to aggressively advocate for them to the federal and provincial governments as a way to help create a level playing field in the Vancouver housing market,” said Robertson.