BCREA’s Consumer Protection Recommendations Attract National Media Attention

Mar 01, 2022

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Posted by
April van Ert
Director, Communications & Stakeholder Engagement

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BCREA’s white paper A Better Way Home: Strengthening Consumer Protection in Real Estate Transactions has attracted significant media attention nationwide. BCREA launched the white paper at a press conference in downtown Vancouver on Monday, February 28 with all of BC’s major news outlets in attendance, including Global, CBC, and CTV. More than 500 viewers, including many REALTORS®, tuned in for the live stream.

BCREA drafted the white paper in response to the BC government’s plans to introduce a mandatory “cooling off” period, announced in November 2021, without consultation with the public or real estate sector, a problem statement or supporting rationale. BCREA strongly believes that consumer interests are best served when the government invites in-depth input from housing sector stakeholders before announcing potential policies.

 Speaking at the press conference, CEO Darlene K. Hyde said, “A consultation in which the outcome is pre-determined is not a consultation at all.”

“As the provincial professional association for BC Realtors, we know that Realtors are uniquely positioned to support the government in identifying a ‘better way home’ for all British Columbians,” said Hyde. “It’s our hope that the release of our white paper gives both the government and the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) a greater appreciation of the impact Realtors can have on shaping public policy.”

Media coverage included stories by the Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, CTV News, CBC, Global News, National Post, BNN Bloomberg, Castanet, Times Colonist, Vancouver Is Awesome and many community news outlets.

About A Better Way Home

BCREA’s white paper, developed with support from regional real estate boards, offers more than 30 recommendations spanning four areas: addressing housing supply issues, enhancing consumer protection in real estate transactions, evolving the real estate sector and contributing to the creation of a world-leading regulatory structure. It incorporates findings from seven focus groups with consumers and Realtors, years of survey data, and a detailed analysis of economic and secondary literature, including the impacts of attempted housing market interventions worldwide.

In the paper, BCREA takes a detailed look at the potential impacts of a “cooling off period” in terms of consumer protection and improving housing affordability. An analysis of economic and secondary literature and studies of such market interventions worldwide show “cooling off periods” to be ineffectual at best.

Instead, BCREA proposes implementing a mandatory “pre-offer period” of a minimum of five business days from the date of listing during which time offers cannot be made on a property. This pre-offer period would give consumers time to do their research on a property before presenting an offer, meeting the government’s stated goal of helping consumers make more informed decisions without introducing more uncertainty into real estate transactions.

You can learn more about the white paper by visiting bcrea.bc.ca/supporting-consumers/.

Next Steps To Help Find A Better Way Home

BCREA and BC’s real estate boards will continue to call on government to pursue evidence-based policy recommendations that truly protect all parties involved in a real estate transaction while urging them to address the fundamental challenge of BC’s housing market: the mismatch between supply and demand.

Realtor support is critical to the success of our work. Watch your inboxes this week for further information on how you can help bring this message to government.

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