Not everyone in B.C. is a fan of how former premier Christy Clark responded to a sharp rise in real-estate prices that occurred during her years in office.
According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), in December 2017, the benchmark price for a single-family detached home on the city of Vancouver’s east side was $1.6 million, up 61 percent from just three years earlier. On Vancouver’s west side, that number reached an insane $3.6 million last month, up 53 percent from three years earlier.
To many young people, it increasingly began to feel like they would never own a home in the city where they grew up.
Meanwhile, Clark resisted calls to interfere in the market.
"Anybody who owns a home or a condo—a house or a condo, a townhouse, or any property—doesn't want to see the value of that cut in half after they've already paid for it," she said in March 2016 explaining her reluctance.
Clark’s Liberal government eventually introduced a 15-percent tax on Metro Vancouver real-estate sales to foreign nationals. But that measure took effect in August 2016 and since then the market has barely cooled.
So it might even be an understatement so say that not everyone in B.C. is a fan of Clark’s record on real estate.
Residents who fall into that camp might therefore be surprised to learn that Clark is now being described as something of an expert on real estate. On February 28, she’s scheduled to attend a conference hosted by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) as a “featured speaker” for the event.
“Over the course of 6.5 years premier, Christy Clark turned BC's economy around - transforming massive deficits in 5 consecutive balanced budgets and the lowest taxes in Canada,” OREA’s description of Clark begins.
“Her government was the first in North America to impose a tax on foreign buyers, but has always maintained that demand side solutions will not be enough to address the ‘housing crisis’,” it continues. “Premier Clark believes the solution to over heated housing markets is in growing supply.
“Her government also responded to the failure of realtors in British Columbia to deal appropriately with unethical realtors by taking back their right to self regulate. She will offer her thoughts on how Ontario realtors can avoid a similar fate.”
The conference runs from February 27 to March 1. A one-day pass for the event costs $129 or $99 if you purchase an “early bird” ticket. Full conference access is $599.