Following the introduction of the foreign buyers tax here in Vancouver, sales in neighbouring cities such as Victoria and Seattle continue to soar.
Seattle realtor Lili Shang with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty says the market’s been so strong she’s done US$10 million in sales over what she did this time last year.
Shang’s phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from Hong Kong and China.
And she thinks the new wave of investment is a direct consequence of the new tax introduced in Vancouver in August.
“Definitely there is more interest now than ever to invest in Seattle. One of my clients, as soon as that tax policy change was announced, he sold one of his investment properties and he came here and he bought three, within one month.”
Shang says many of her customers who have decided to buy in Seattle over Vancouver buy at least three properties.
This comes as Hong Kong recently increased its foreign buyers tax from 15% to 30%.
Combine that with similar taxes in other traditional hot-spots for Chinese investors like in Vancouver, and an increasing number of buyers are now searching out cheaper cities.
Juwai.com – a Chinese search engine for offshore real estate – predicts Chinese overseas property transactions will hit US$220 billion by 2020 – up from US$80 billion a year ago.
And the company says 70% of those Chinese buyers will pay cash.