Petition urges Christy Clark to restrict foreign investment in Vancouver real estate

WATCH: Overseas investors buying real estate in the Greater Vancouver area is back in the spotlight. Jeremy Hunka reports.

The contentious issue of foreign ownership of real estate in the Metro Vancouver area is back in the spotlight with B.C. Premier Christy Clark weighing in on the issue. More than 17,000 people have signed a petition urging the province to put restrictions on real estate purchases by overseas investors.

“It’s time to stand up and protect our community—Vancouver is not for sale,” states the petition. “The housing needs of Greater Vancouver residents are more important than the profit margins of foreign speculators.”

READ MORE: Foreign investors snap up Burnaby real estate

Realtor Lorne Goldman estimates 25 per cent of his clients are foreign. While countries like Australia have put limits on what foreign investors can buy, Goldman wonders whether similar restrictions in B.C. “could backfire.”

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Some fear such limits could stall the city’s real estate market, a sentiment shared by B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

READ MORE: Overseas investors set their sights on Vancouver Island real estate market

“By trying to move foreign buyers out of the market, housing prices overall will drop,” said Clark. “That’s good for first-time home buyers but not for anybody who is depending on the equity in their home to maybe get a loan or use that to finance some other projects.”

-with files from Jeremy Hunka

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