Foreign investors may be buying majority of west-side Vancouver homes

by Ryan Smith

A recent academic study shows that the majority of single-family homes purchased in Vancouver’s tony west-side neighbourhoods were likely bought by foreign investors.

An academic study by city planner Andy Yan found that 70% of buyers of single-family homes in Vancouver west-side neighbourhoods were likely from mainland China.

The study used methodology commonly employed in public health, political science, and Asian-American studies to identify the origin of names, with “non-Anglicised Chinese” names suggesting Chinese nationals or newer immigrants.

“There may be some miscategorisations as an Anglicized Chinese name could be someone who is a new immigrant and a non-Anglicized Chinese name could be a locally born citizen, but after an external review, we feel this is minimal,” Yan writes in the study.

An even more surprising statistic also came out of the study: of all self-declared occupations among owners in the study – in which the average home cost $3.05 million – 36% were homemakers or students with next to no income.

Many tax experts are concerned that offshore investors may be exploiting tax loopholes to evade GST and capital gains taxes, according to a report by the National Post. Housewives and students can live in Vancouver for a brief time, claim a home as a primary residence, and flip properties tax-free. The real home buyer, meanwhile, lives and works in China while funneling money through relatives into Canada to store wealth, the National Post reports.

“When you see all the homemakers and students on the titles buying $3-million homes with mortgages, it really supports the idea that money from somewhere else is coming in,” David Eby, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Point Grey, told the Post.

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COMMENTS

  • by TC498 2015-11-06 1:05:19 PM

    This is absolutely outrageous
    Tax free is for citizens or land immigrants not foreign investors
    Please lobby Ottawa to crack down

  • by MFenn 2015-11-06 2:24:06 PM

    ...and what is the sub-text of this? racial stereotyping of buyers, as if the literal 'colour' of the money can be a supposed disease, whereas a granny from London, England, for a granny apartment in BC would supposedly be 'pure enough' racially? Or are BC realtors supposed to transpose to BC a Quebec radical nationalist mindset and start to engage in dissuading qualified resident applicants from applying? in other words, if they don't dare make things awkward for people after they become residents, try on racial grounds to do their utmost to make things awkward before they do? I can't read anyone's mind, but how such considerations would be compatible with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms escapes me.

  • by CAFO 2015-11-07 2:43:50 AM

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/limit-foreign-ownership-in-the-lower-mainland

    Have you say! Enough is Enough!

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