Guanajuato from the El Pipila monument, Mexico. credit: flickrcc/Jiuguang Wang
REIBC recently undertook comparative reviews of non-resident property-ownership policies, in residential and commercial real estate, in countries around the world. The intent was not to evaluate the success or relative effectiveness of these different approaches, but rather to provide insight into the array of mechanisms and policies that have been established in other jurisdictions in order to address the challenges that are being faced currently with respect to foreign investment in BC.
The residential review looked at several countries known for having highly desirable real estate—but found jurisdictions completely open to non-resident investment in residential real estate. Contrary to several recent condemnations of BC being “behind the curve” in controlling non-resident purchases of real estate, this review found this to be the case with many of the world’s leading cities, including Paris, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Stockholm. At the same time, there are many jurisdictions that have policy frameworks in place to limit and/or guide non-resident ownership; some restrict while other just impede.
The commercial review examined policies from the same jurisdictions as the residential review to determine not just whether restrictions exist, but whether there is any continuity between the level of restrictions for residential and commercial property. In contrast to policies and regulations in place in many jurisdictions to restrict or limit the purchase of residential properties by foreign owners, many of the same jurisdictions have no defined policies to guide the purchase of commercial real estate by foreign investors, and, in some cases, policies have been amended to make the process easier—to encourage new foreign investment. However, there are also examples of some jurisdictions that have been exploring new policies or regulations that would begin to impede foreign investment.
Read more about these approaches in “Non-resident Property Ownership: A Review of Policies from Around the World,” in the Spring 2018 issue of Input, page 26. Download Spring 2018
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