The provincial government of British Columbia has begun an investigation into whether money laundering had fueled the province’s housing market.
According to a Reuters report
, British Columbia is Canada’s most expensive provincial housing market. The average home in the Vancouver metro area currently costs $843,688, a 76.7 percent spike from five years earlier. Finance Minister Carole James said the investigation was spurred by a loosening in government regulations that led to “rampant speculation and out-of-control prices” in real estate.
“Our overheated housing market can attract criminals and people wanting to abuse the system,” James said. “When these people exploit loopholes, they drive up housing prices and help organized crime and drug dealers.”