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NEW REPORT: 1 in 3 Metro Vancouver homes sales in 2015 went to Chinese buyers

Posted on March 24, 2016

After much speculation about asian purchasers or foreign investments driving our local real estate market, someone has actually put the numbers together and laid out in a report that will most definitely fan the flames of angry would-be home buyers, as Vancouver’s hot market continues to create controversy.

1/3 of homes purchases in 2015 in Metro Vancouver were made by Chinese buyers.

Although the numbers came from non-Canadian sources, financial analyst Peter Rutledge says the numbers show that Chinese investment accounted for approximately $12.7 billion out of a total of $38.5 billion spent on real estate in 2015. His findings were published by the National Bank of Canada last Wednesday.

“In a society as compelling and open to immigration as Canada is, it is not surprising to us that flows of immigrants and foreign capital into … Vancouver influence the local prices of homes,” he writes.

However, Routledge does admit that even addressing the issue of foreign home ownership in Vancouver can inflame unproductive tensions.

“The prospect of unduly exacerbating these tensions may cause some to recoil from studying the issue – a reaction that, though honest and understandable, we see as unproductive,” he writes.

“Surely, one can study the issue of immigration, foreign capital flows, and housing affordability in a manner consistent with the country’s guiding principles regarding immigration and multiculturalism.”

In this week’s budget, the federal government announced it will be allocating $500,000 for StatsCan to look into measuring foreign real estate ownership in Canada.

But at little more than a quarter of the average price of a detached home in Vancouver, Routledge points out, that investment may be a little on the low side…