Real estate watchdog appointed by B.C. government


In an unprecedented move, the B.C. government is bringing in a new office to help regulate the red-hot real estate market in the province.

Michael Noseworthy has been appointed the new “superintendent of real estate.”

READ MORE: Full coverage on the real estate market in B.C.

The province is billing Noseworthy as an experienced regulator and public sector leader, having recently served as a senior government regulator for Yukon, where he worked as the province’s director of residential tenancies and employment standards.

Noseworthy has worked as a lawyer in private practice in Newfoundland and Labrador prior to his work with the Government of Yukon, in a practice that included real estate law and administrative law. He received both his law degree and a bachelor of arts in political science from Dalhousie University.

Story continues below advertisement

“I look forward to drawing upon my experiences as both a regulator and a lawyer with experience in real estate and administrative law to serve the interests of British Columbia’s real estate consumers by working swiftly to implement the reforms initiated by the government,” Noseworthy said in a release.

He will start his new post on Oct. 19.

READ MORE: B.C. government’s new housing measures not enough: critics

Earlier this year, the provincial government announced more oversight of the real estate industry, appointing a seven-member advisory panel to look into the practice of shadow flipping, which is believed to be one of the factors fueling Metro Vancouver’s real estate market.

In June, Premier Christy Clark went on record, saying B.C.’s real estate industry has lost the right to regulate itself, announcing the creation of a dedicated superintendent of real estate office.

WATCH BELOW: Premier Christy Clark announces a number of changes coming to the British Columbia real estate industry

Presser: B.C. premier ends self-regulation in real estate industry
Presser: B.C. premier ends self-regulation in real estate industry

The amendments made by Clark transfer rule-making powers from the Real Estate Council to the superintendent of real estate and enable an enhanced oversight role for the superintendent.

Story continues below advertisement

Maximum penalties for real estate licensee misconduct will also be increased.

The Real Estate Council will continue to be responsible for licensing, licensee and public education, investigation of licensee conduct and licensee discipline.

In July, the provincial government introduced a 15 per cent foreign buyer tax, hoping to cool down the real estate market in Metro Vancouver. The new numbers from the British Columbia Real Estate Association released this month suggest home sales in Vancouver have slowed, but the overall housing market across the province is healthy. It’s too early to say, experts say, if the tax had helped to slow down the market in Metro Vancouver.