The vast majority of British Columbians support measures to curb foreign and/or speculative investment in B.C. real estate, according to a poll released May 7.
The Mustel Group survey of 400 B.C. residents, in partnership with CBC, found that 86 per cent of respondents agree with policies aimed at reducing foreign ownership of B.C. homes and real estate speculation. The same proportion said they think that speculative investment is damaging to the province.
Of the latter group, 65 per cent said speculative investment is having a significant impact on local real estate, while 33 said it is having some impact and just two per cent said that they think it is having no real impact.
Nearly six in 10 respondents (58 per cent) agreed with the statement that it is time to consider an outright ban on foreign buyers of B.C. real estate.
The general perception among respondents was that such measures would not be harmful to B.C.'s economy. Most British Columbians (73 per cent) said that they think speculation can be addressed without impacting the overall economy.
Mustel Group also separated out answers from homeowners, and found that 78 per cent of home owners support measures to address housing affordability, even if those measures make their home or property less valuable.
British Columbians answering the poll agreed that the hot-button issue of real estate and foreign ownership has created division between local residents. Again, 86 per cent said that it is creating division among economic lines, while 64 per cent of respondents said there was division between age groups. Just under 40 per cent believe that it is creating division between different racial groups.
More than 90 per cent of respondents are concerned about housing affordability in B.C. – a figure that is highest among Metro Vancouver respondents and lowest in the B.C. Interior.