Letter: Investors fuel real estate prices

Governments need to address outside investors inflating property values

I received by mail at my home last week a card from a local realtor soliciting homes for purchase by investors and foreign purchasers from across Canada and in China. It said that they see excellent value in my neighbourhood and are able to pay top dollar for my home.

It is the third card of this kind that I have received from different realtors in the past 12 months.

Unfortunately housing, which is a necessity and the cornerstone of our society, has been allowed to become a commodity. The patent damage that has and continues to be contributed to by investors, both foreign and Canadian, to housing markets in parts of southwestern British Columbia is notorious and has been well documented in a number of publications.

There is no doubt that soaring house prices and the reduction of available housing has been fueled by investors in those areas.

Oak Bay is as stable as any residential area in Canada. Housing here is valuable and continues to rise in value.

It is right in the cross-hairs of investors looking to buy. It takes no imagination to visualize the same damage happening here as has happened in the Lower Mainland, in particular on the west side of Vancouver.

Each of us who has any concern at all about the health of our community must urge all three levels of government to use their legislative powers to stop this from continuing.

Bruce Filan

Oak Bay