Canada's recent move to ban some foreign nationals from purchasing property in that country has led to some local discourse on the matter. How much have you considered if this would be an effective option for the Cayman Islands?
In this editorial piece, Sandy Hill argues that the impact of this ban would be minimal for Canada, and one should closely examine the details of the ban itself and market conditions before concluding this is such a great move. She also argues that such a suggestion for Cayman undertaking a similar ban is extremely premature with substantial data and analysis of who is purchasing property in the Cayman Islands.
She also concludes that the ban is more about gaining political points than easing the pain of increased housing costs impacting many places worldwide.
As of this summer, the average home price in Canada is C$777,200 ($568,000; £473,700) – more than 11 times the median household income after taxes. Non-Canadian residents make up less than 6% of homeowners in Ontario and British Columbia, where national statistics indicate home prices are the highest. As of 1 January, the ban prohibits people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents from buying residential properties and imposes a C$10,000 fine on those who breach it.
What do you think of a similar ban for Cayman?
In late December – 11 days before the ban came into effect – the Canadian government announced some exemptions to the regulation, including for international students who have been in the country for at least five years, refugee claimants and people with temporary work permits. In a statement, federal housing minister Ahmed Hussen said the ban is meant to discourage buyers from looking at homes as commodities instead of a place to live and grow a family.
“Through this legislation, we're taking action to ensure that housing is owned by Canadians for the benefit of everyone who lives in this country,” Mr. Hussen said.
In August 2018, New Zealand tried a similar ban on property after it was revealed that the nation's largest city, Auckland was the fourth most expensive in the world in which to purchase a home. To date, no one has lauded it as a success.