Announced in the B.C. Budget Speech Tuesday, data about real estate buyer nationality will again be collected in the province due to widespread concern about the effects of foreign investment.

Such data was collected in the past, but was stopped in 1998. Since that time, house prices have skyrocketed in B.C., particularly in areas in and around Vancouver. Many Canadians are blaming foreign investment and mass immigration for the changes, but data that would furnish a practical assessment of the situation is lacking.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong made that announcement in Tuesday’s Budget Speech that the province would again be collecting nationality data starting this summer.

However, de Jong noted, nationality will only be collected when the buyer is not a citizen or resident of Canada. He also commented that foreign ownership of Canadian real estate is legal and even “encouraged” by the government.

The relevant portion of the Budget Speech:

By Justin Munce