While the full effects of B.C.’s 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers have yet to be seen, a prominent industry player has outlined several alternative markets that Chinese investors might flock to.
In a BuzzBuzzNews
report, real estate portal Juwai.com (which serves Chinese buyers of overseas properties) noted that Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa are the Canadian cities that will prove most enticing to those who want to avoid the tax.
In particular, Calgary has been marked an area of special interest. Juwai cited the city’s distinctive strengths, including its natural sights and its unique accessibility to China via a direct flight.
The tax has made Chinese investors far more apprehensive, evident in last month’s dramatic 55.6 per cent decline in inquiries by mainland buyers about Vancouver properties listed at $1 million and above.
“Part of the problem is that the media coverage has been very dramatic and abundant within China, raising uncertainties,” according to Matthew Moore, Juwai’s president of the Americas.
“Right now, Seattle is the number-one city in North America for Chinese buyer enquiries, even displacing Los Angeles,” Moore added.
However, Moore cautioned that making definitive conclusions about the impact of the tax is premature at this point.
“Remember, Vancouver enquiries have been very volatile — with big monthly variations — in the past. So looking at a short period like this may not give us an accurate view of long-term trends,” he stated.
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