From Garry Marr, Financial Post, 23 Jun 2011 -
“Local firm Landcor Data Corp. says it has been tracking property tax assessment bills to pinpoint the percentage of transactions driven by foreign investors in Vancouver’s suburbs — a trend the real estate industry says has been driving up average prices in the country’s priciest city.
Richmond and the west side of Vancouver, favourites of Chinese investors, were the focus of a first-quarter report form Landcor’s which looked at the profile of buyers from 2008 to 2010. It found buyers from the “Middle Kingdom,” as the company put it, dominated purchases.
In 2008, there were 69 sales of homes priced at $3-million or more, the most expensive $10.5-million, and 46% were purchased by Chinese buyers. By 2010, there were 164 sales in the same category, the highest-priced being $17.5-million, and 74% went to Chinese buyers.” …
“Andrew Ramlo, executive director of The Urban Futures Institute, a Vancouver research firm that worked with Ledcor, says the data proves that influence of foreign investment is not a major factor in most of the Lower Mainland.
His group points out of the 55,512 sales in 2010 only 195 were to people outside of Canada — 0.4% of all sales for the year. Furthermore, he says, foreign investors only own 0.5% of the total housing stock of 774,600 residential properties in the Lower Mainland.
“These data contradict what seems to be largely anecdotal evidence indicating foreign investment is a significant driver to residential price increases in the Lower Mainland,” he said in a report.”