Real estate agents in Vancouver are worried that the government's decision to shut down a program that provided visas to wealthy investors and toss the applications of thousands of Chinese millionaires will hurt high-end home sales and the local economy.
Since it was created in 1986, the program had provided visas to about 186,000 immigrants, the South China Morning Post reports. The Post -- which recently ran a series of in-depth stories on the program -- reported that there were 65,000 "millionaire visa" applications pending, about 70 percent of which had been filed by Chinese citizens.
West Vancouver real estate agent Clarence Debelle tells the CBC that he's concerned the end of the investor program will hurt the local economy and the high-end housing market.
"Most of the buying is coming from Chinese immigrants who are wealthy, so if we make it difficult for them to come into this country, we have killed 80 to 90 percent of the buying in West Vancouver." Source: cbc.ca.