A Delta family is raising the alarm, saying real estate speculation isn’t just driving up housing prices — it’s affecting farmland as well.
Jen Grenz says her family wants to farm, but real estate speculators have priced them out of the market.
In a letter to the Corporation of Delta and local politicians, Grenz says speculators are buying up farmland and sitting on it.
“We have gotten into a situation now where there is no requirement to actually farm that land. That is where I think that is where we have got failures at multiple levels of government here where we need to be saying if you are going to be purchasing agricultural property that is zoned as such locally, as well as designated ALR, a certain percentage of that better be productive land.”
She says foreign buyers are touring farmland, and Chinese-only real estate signs are being posted.
Grenz says one of the companies mentioned in the Globe and Mail shadow flipping story is also active in agricultural land sales.
“I wanted to look at a property that was listed by that particular company and there was resistance to even show me the property, and I don’t know why. It is really unsettling because you are just seeing further barriers to even access the market. I want a look at a property but I can’t read the sign or no one is really willing to talk to me because I am not the kind of buyer they are probably interested in.”
Grenz says she and her husband “took a break” from farming to raise their kids and now want to return to the land.
But despite some significant financial resources, they are being frustrated in their attempt to buy.