A local Vancouver real estate company is sharing the percentage of its sales that went to foreign buyers, and the numbers are staggering.
Foreign buyers from mainland China – who purchase with cash – accounted for 70 per cent of Macdonald Realty Ltd’s sales in 2014 for single-family, condo, and townhomes over $3 million.
“It is mainland Chinese buyers who are driving the luxury market – they are dominating; there is an affordability crisis for the (Vancouver) upper middle-class who are no longer able to buy in this market,” Macdonald Vice President Dan Scarrow said at a CFA society event last week, according to the Vancouver Sun. “But you don’t see this in other markets such as for (more affordable) condos, where prices have been flat or trailing.”
Chinese buyers also accounted for 21 per cent of the firm’s sales between $1 and $3 million, and 11 per cent of sales below $1 million.
The company released a study in 2013 that found 33 per cent of all its sales went to purchasers from mainland China.
It’s an interesting – albeit limited – snapshot, and one that will likely add fuel to the fire that was recently re-ignited by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who promised to assemble a more accurate snapshot of foreign home ownership in Canada.
“There is another matter I hear a lot about, especially here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, that is Canadians struggling to afford a home,” Harper said at a press conference in Vancouver last week. “There are real concerns that foreign, non-resident real estate speculation is the reason some Canadian families find house prices beyond their budgets.”