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B.c. to end self-regulation of real estate industry

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The province will also revamp the real estate council and replace a majority of its members with people from outside of the industry.

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The real estate council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The province already has a superintendent of real estate, Carolyn Rogers, but she is set to leave for a different position soon and has long had other duties beyond housing. The new position has already been posted and will be solely focused on real estate, Clark said.

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Rogers said she was pleased the province would implement all the recommendations and establish a dedicated superintendent of real estate.

David Eby, housing critic for the Opposition New Democrats, has been calling for an end to self-regulation of the industry for months.

“It’s common sense based on the findings of the report,” he said. “It’s clear that this was a failed regulator.”

But Eby criticized the premier for not making an announcement on affordability, and accused her of failing to address the underlying issues of speculative investment, foreign capital, money laundering and tax evasion.

Earlier Wednesday, the NDP called for the province to launch a task force of police, Crown prosecutors and auditors that would investigate and prosecute fraud and money laundering in the housing market.

Clark said the province was already taking action to crack down on criminal activity and promised to announce new actions to tackle affordability guided by six principles: increasing housing supply; linking communities through smart transit; supporting first-time homebuyers; protecting consumers; increasing rental supply and improving affordability for the middle class.

The premier has been criticized for not addressing foreign ownership in these principles, and she said Wednesday that everything was on the table.

“We are considering all the suggestions that have come from citizens, local governments, that we’ve learned from other jurisdictions,” she said. “All of those things are on the table. Nothing is off.”

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