“(In my business) the overseas buyers, 80% of them are resident and 20% of them are non-resident and they purchased the high end properties for their own use and enjoyment,” Anita Mui, an agent with Century 21, told REP. ”Although I am not sure how long they will live in the property but one thing I am sure, is that they are very careful when they pick their own house, they care about the entire neighborhood and they have future plans for their family with the purchase.”
For his part, Toronto-based agent Jimmy Molloy – who also does a great deal of luxury business – estimates his foreign sales range between 10-15%.
“I think it’s a much bigger issue in Vancouver than it is in Toronto,” Molloy told REP. “In Toronto they aren’t blowing up the value; they see the value of real estate here and are stepping up to the plate.”
Still, it’s a segment of buyers the industry continues to keep an eye on. Especially buyers from China.
“The big question for upper-end real estate market in Vancouver and Toronto is will foreign buying – mainly from China – slow down due to its recent financial problems?” Economist Michael Campbell said in his Q1 financial report, which was obtained by REP. “So far every major financial problem in China in the last five years has resulted in money leaving the country and that trend continues with somewhere in the neighbourhood of $900 billion leaving the country in 2015.”
After London and Vancouver, Toronto and Vancouver are top choices for parking that money. And if that trend changes, it could have an impact on Canadian real estate.
There has been much speculation about how much influence foreign buyers have on the Canadian real estate market, and two players have stepped up to share their own take.