B.C.’s real-estate industry has lost its status as a self-regulating entity following a massive governance overhaul announced Wednesday by Premier Christy Clark.
The move comes a day after the release of a damning report by an independent advisory group, which had been tasked with looking into governance issues and shady conduct within Metro Vancouver’s real estate industry.
The group, which was chaired by Carolyn Rogers, B.C.’s superintendent of real estate, offered 28 recommendations, including stiffer penalties for licensee misconduct, greater transparency and governance issues.
Ending self-regulation, however, was not one of those recommendations, suggesting the Clark government is preparing to take determined steps to address Metro Vancouver’s housing affordability crisis.
As part of the new measures announced Wednesday, all decision making and rule setting will be taken over by a strengthened superintendent of real estate, who will report directly to B.C.’s minister of finance.
At present, the superintendent of real estate is also responsible for overseeing all credit unions and pension and mortgage brokering industries. Rogers announced last month that she was going to leave the position at the end of the month.
Clark said the search for a new superintendent is underway.
Additional changes announced Wednesday will see the real estate council reorganized to include a majority of public interest, non-industry members.
Clark also said that government will implement all of the recommendations found within the advisory group’s report, including bringing in stiffer penalties and fines for realtors and brokerages that break the rules.