Stability attracts Chinese investors to Canadian housing—analyst

by Ephraim Vecina03 Jun 2016
A combination of generous exchange rates and relative stability has made Canadian real estate markets irresistible to Chinese investors, according to a long-time industry analyst.
In a NEWS 1130 report, Charlie Gillis of Maclean’s Magazine noted that in stark contrast to the situation back home, Chinese buyers are looking at Canada’s most active markets—namely Vancouver and Toronto—as bedrocks of long-term stability that make them safe investments.
“I think that it has more to do with what is going on in Mainland China and there is volatility all kinds of markets there, not least their real estate market,” Gillis explained. “[The] city of Shenzhen, which is one of their leading cities, saw a 60 per cent jump last year in home prices alone.”
Gillis pointed at the recent growth of foreign investment in Toronto and other Canadian locales as an indicator of continued trust in the country’s strength, insofar as real estate is concerned.
“In fact there is more interest on the part of people in China in terms of just searching properties in Toronto than there is in Vancouver. Also, they are searching other places; Ottawa comes up number four on that list,” Gillis said.
Latest National Bank figures put the proportion of Chinese residential property buyers at 33 per cent in the Lower Mainland area alone.
Over the past few years, various quarters have been calling for tighter federal and provincial regulation of the influx of overseas capital in Canada’s housing markets, alleging that the increased prominence of foreign investors is driving the out-of-control home price growth in Vancouver and Toronto.

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