While there has been lots of finger pointing about how real estate prices in Vancouver could be so celestial that local people could not afford to purchase here, a panel has estimated that $5 billion dollars in “dirty money” went through the housing market last year.
Overall in the Province it is estimated that real estate prices increased by five percent due to this tinkering, but remember that will be more in some places (like in Metro Vancouver) than others. And surprise! As reported by Global News most of these questionable transactions examined took place in Vancouver.
The report just released discusses B.C. Lawyers and B.C. Realtors being part of the challenge. While there are rules in places for lawyers there is no need for external reporting of large amount transactions and no oversight of monies in a lawyer’s trust account.
The report also asked that only verifiable funds be used for purchasing real estate and that only verifiable funds be allowed in all transactions. It also recommended that mandatory courses be required for all real estate industry people to understand what money laundering is and how to deal with it.
The German Report confirms what many have assumed~it appears crime proceeds were used to buy several properties. “One example in the report is from 2001, ‘a student’ purchasing in access of 15 properties in the same Vancouver condo building for $2.9 million. Those properties are now worth $11 million. Another example is a ‘homemaker’ purchasing five luxury homes over a four year period worth $21 million.”
Add in expensive vehicles and betting at the race track and the report estimates that $7.4 billion dollars has been laundered in this province in 2018 alone, with a suggested $47 billion dollars laundered nationally in 2018.
The report also recommends real estate developers be licensed under a regulatory regime and that the province establish an intelligence unit to collect data on transactions.
You can hear more about the report just released in the CBC News YouTube video below.