In Metro Vancouver, the real estate industry touches a nerve for many when asked about corruption, according to a new report.
Transparency International Canada released results this week from its survey on western Canada’s perceptions of corruption. The survey explored 1,207 people’s views on a wide range of sectors, including political parties and the oil and gas industry.
Nearly four-in-ten, or 37 per cent, of Greater Vancouver respondents described the real estate sector as “extremely corrupt.” That’s compared to to 15 per cent of other respondents.
The report comes as the B.C. government continues to probe hefty allegations linking money laundering in casinos to real estate. Efforts include appointing an expert panel and commissioning Peter German to investigate the movement of dirty money into real estate, horse racing and the luxury car market.
Still, real estate remains a dominant issue due to soaring housing prices, Transparency International Canada said.
“These prices created lucrative opportunities for unethical conduct by real estate agents, with conflicts of interest representing both buyers and sellers enabled by lax and ineffective regulation and a lack of transparency,” the report reads.
“While these practices have led to new rules and government regulation, allegations of conflicts of interest continue to be made against Vancouver politicians and the real estate industry.”
Overall, 47 per cent of respondents perceived federal political parties to be most affected by corruption, according to survey results, followed by provincial political parties and then the federal government.