What is motivating foreign buyers in Vancouver’s property market, and how much are they spending?
Both questions a new report by Sotheby’s Realty and Juwai, a Chinese website that markets overseas properties, sheds some new light on.
The report found the biggest driver of Vancouver’s foreign investors was the opportunity for education in Canada, with 44 per cent citing it as their number one motivator.
A quarter of respondents said it was because they wanted to own a home, while 23 per cent said they were buying as an investment.
The report also found foreign buyers were more interested in conventional housing than luxury homes, with two-thirds of buyers aiming for something priced under $650,000. The median price for Vancouver property enquiries on Juwai.com was $530,000.
The report also says inquiries for Vancouver plunged significantly when the foreign buyer’s tax was introduced last August, while interest for Toronto, Calgary and Montreal has spiked over the months since.
But Sotheby’s Canada CEO Brad Henderson says people on the sidelines are expected to come back.
“People still see Vancouver as a very attractive place to buy property.”
Inquiries on Juwai for Vancouver slumped by 81% last July, and were down 37 per cent year-over-year for all of 2016.
Those numbers match data provided by the provincial government, which found foreign buyer activity made up 10 per cent of the Metro Vancouver market in July – then plummeted to just 1.8 percent in September following the implementation of the tax.
Earlier this year, Premier Christy Clark announced plans to ease the foreign buyers’ tax restrictions to exempt people with valid work permits in B.C.
With files from Emily Lazatin and Jon Meyer