B.C. government estimate of foreigners in residential sales draws ridicule

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The B.C. provincial government recently announced that only around 3 per cent of home buyers in B.C. are foreign nationals, and that only 2.5 per cent of residential sales in the province involved Chinese, statements that have led to much ridicule among the participants of a recent conference in Vancouver.
Industry professionals jeered the B.C. government’s numbers at the just-concluded Asia Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) conference, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
“No. Absolutely not. It is way, way higher than that,” according to Byron Burley, who is the Shanghai-based vice president of foreign residential real estate search portal juwaii.com.
Burley said that millions of Chinese users peruse juwaii.com to look for residential properties in B.C.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong said the information was culled from residential segment volume covering June 10 to 29, with a total of 10,148 sales. The findings stated that only 337 of these transactions involved foreign buyers.
Real estate professionals disputed de Jong’s methodology and conclusions.
“That is a very small sample. That is the problem. No one has hard data,” according to AREAA Vancouver president Tina Mak.
“I would say 50 per cent of house buyers, maybe 60 per cent [are foreigners],” ventured Eve Chuang of Macdonald Realty.
“My intuition says it has to be much higher [than three per cent] just based on the number of people and the number of deals being done at this conference,” agreed Michael North, COO of Pacific Royalties.
North, who puts Asian buyers in touch with North American real estate, warned that “a next wave of Chinese buyers” is approaching Vancouver.
“The rollout is accelerating,” North stated, adding that at least 10 per cent of home sale transactions in Vancouver involved foreigners. “I would like to know where the BC government is getting their statistics.”
  • A Canadian citizen on 2016-07-13 9:57:07 AM

    In Toronto Vancouver, Canadian govt is clueless , helpless and have absolutely no idea of how to control the situations

  • Mortgage Guy on 2016-07-13 10:13:30 AM

    Banks are facilitating this trends offering favourable rates at 65% LTV. No question asked, automatic funding regardless of the impact. Many of this is money laundering from bribes in China, they are looking for a safe haven to park the money before getting caught.

    In Toronto, many are having difficulties carrying the debt and adding high interest private loans on top of the bank financing. BMO recently funded a $1,000,000 home to a cleaning lady, the down payment came from China (borrowed). It is disgusting what I see these days and banks are the culprits.

  • Dan on 2016-07-13 11:40:36 AM

    One large FI used to have a 'foreign student' program, not sure if they still do. Qualifications were:
    - 35% downpayment
    - Confirm sufficient assets to cover payments for the term of the mortgage
    - The applicant had to confirm they had a student enrolled in a Canadian school (elementary to university, and all levels in between)
    So the homemaker and student articles we're hearing in Vancouver are no surprise.

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