Is a 'Vancouver Foreign Buyer Ban' being considered?

Among a number of other strategies, the city of Vancouver is considering restricting ownership of housing to local residents, as it looks to cool a hot real estate market they feel is fueled by foreign and local speculation.

According to the city, Vancouver is the setting for the 'perfect storm' where excessive supply of global capital is flowing into the city, along with builders targeting investors, low interest rates and favourable tax policies.

Vancouver, which is Canada's most expensive housing market has already made numerous moves to try and curb the situation, including imposing an empty home tax and restricting short-term rentals.

Home prices in Vancouver's westside have jumped 57% in the last 3 years, sending the typical price - including condos, townhouses and detached homes - to $1.4 million according the the Great Vancouver Real Estate Board.

In the Greater Vancouver region, the typical home now costs $1 million, 12.5 times the regions median household income of $79,930, which puts home ownership out of reach for many residents.

With rising homes prices we have also seen rents increase, with the vacancy rate hovering below 1%.

This lack of affordable housing is putting a strain on local businesses, with restaurants, retailers and even the city itself struggling to find enough workers.

To address the crunch, Vancouver is considering new strategies including imposing a speculation tax, an increase in the luxury tax and the possibility of 'restricting property ownership by non-permanent residents'.

Vancouver is the latest jursidiction to consider this restriction, following in the footsteps of Australia and New Zealand.

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