Vancouver Real Estate Agent Dan Miller & www.GreaterVancouverHomes.ca
Chinese drawn to Canada
Canada’s stable government and banking system and the relatively low prices draw investors, he said, pointing out that while condos in downtown Toronto can sell for $800 per square foot, in Beijing, the price is $2,000 per square foot and in Hong Kong it's double that.
Moreover, to control prices, the Chinese government allows each family there to bank finance only two properties — one to live in and one to invest in — and buyers must pay 100 per cent cash for anything above the two-property limit, Ma said.
Not only are prices in Canada more affordable, homes and condos are a better value proposition, since they come ready to move into, unlike in China, where buyers get a concrete shell they have to pay to finish, he said.
“So they see an $8 million house here, they see the quality, they see the finishes and they think it’s cheap," Ma said. "They can move in today.”
Vancouver tops the list with Chinese investors because of the city’s temperate climate and proximity to their homeland, he added.
Janet Sinclair of Re/Max Hallmark Realty Ltd. in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto, routinely deals with foreign investors.
“They have driven prices up," she said. "Whenever we launch a new condo downtown we get a number of Hong Kong investors and a lot of people coming over from England. People want to put their money in Canadian real estate because they think it’s safe.”
Sinclair recently dealt with a Hong Kong investor representing a dozen buyers, who happened to be family members from back home. They snapped up units in a new waterfront condo building and are now interested in another project in the Beaches.
She also recently sold a penthouse condo in downtown Toronto to Swiss investors for $1.25 million.
“They didn’t bat an eye at the price. They said in comparison to what they pay in Switzerland, these prices are nothing. Our prices are not scaring them at all."