In Vancouver, AKA real estate's Twilight Zone, a bunch of students own $57-million worth of property in the city's affluent Point Grey neighbourhood.
These nine homeowners, who we can only assume have never had to subsist off instant noodles, are literally listed as "students" on land title documents obtained by BC's New Democratic Party.
Despite not having any income streams, the students managed to secure mortgages.
"How did the students qualify for mortgages? Where did that money come from?" asked NDP housing critic David Eby at a press conference Wednesday.
Eby questioned how major banks were qualifying students for mortgages without asking where their income was coming from. He said he was prompted to look into the issue by a Globe and Mail investigation that examined banks' policies around approving mortgages for foreign buyers. That investigation found that banks don't scrutinize the source of income of foreign buyers the same way they would with Canadian citizens.
One of the nine student homeowners made headlines in May, when it was revealed that he had purchased a $31-million home—among the most expensive properties in the city. Another student reportedly had bought and sold a home, making $1.15 million, according to Eby.
According to a 2015 study that looked at 172 properties on Vancouver's west side, homemakers/housewives were listed as a primary occupation for 25 percent of homeowners, followed by businessperson at 21 percent, and students accounted for four percent.
Eby said the province should investigate whether or not this is a widespread issue by examining home sales across the province.
In July, the BC Liberals introduced at 15 percent tax for foreign homebuyers to help address the affordable housing crisis.
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