Foreign buyers not driving up Vancouver home prices: analysis

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The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) says foreign buyers driving up home prices in Vancouver is a myth.

The analysis they released suggests a very low percentage of foreign buyers are actually purchasing homes in Vancouver as investment properties. While exact numbers are hard to come by, the BCREA says it’s “considerably less than 5% of the housing stock and not more than 5% of sales activity.”

The report says the number of empty homes and ones occupied by temporary residents didn’t diverge significantly from other major cities, citing the 2011 census as evidence. In fact, it suggests Vancouver’s percentage of unoccupied homes is lower than the national average, at 5.35%.

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SEE ALSO: 77% of Vancouverites support absentee homeowner tax

As such, the BCREA doesn’t see the need to introduce policies to curb foreign investment.

“BCREA recommends the government monitor the flow of foreign investment in housing by attaching a residency declaration somewhere in the land transfer form process, or other practical approach. Gathering data on foreign investment in housing would provide an opportunity to gain further insight into this market segment,” suggests the report.

And while the price of single detached homes continues to rise, the report notes that there’s a flush supply of condominiums on the market and with low mortgage rates, the prices of apartments are lower than they were in 2010.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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