The Conference Board of Canada has taken an in-depth look at the correlation between the economy in China and where investors are spending their money.
Robin Wiebe, the senior economist who authored the report, says there are significant ties to the GDP performance in China and buying trends in Vancouver. When the GDP was high in the 2000s (never below 8 per cent), investor activity was up.
“When China does well, it makes sense that some of its people will be looking for places to spend their money,” said Wiebe. “The West Coast and the Pacific Rim are logical destinations for that.”
B.C’s geographical location and ease of access, health care and education have made it the destination for just under half a million Chinese immigrants. The withdrawal of offshore capital from the B.C. housing market felt last year not-so-coincidentally fell around the time the country’s GDP dipped to a 12-year low.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is reporting residential property sales were the second lower in February since 2001, but Jacob Boshoff, Re/Max Results Realty, says there is activity from Chinese investors returning to the area."I have some great listings today that sellers bought in 2010 for C$520,000 ($506,000) and are now being offered for C$479,000 and still no offers," said Boshoff. He notes that the return to the market is tepid, but tangible. "I see that my Chinese investors are buying, but they do a lot more looking into the market."
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