“As a market, Vancouver is a mash-up. She is the focus of much international attention but the local market finds this unsettling.”
That’s Sonny Wong in an article for BC’s chapter of the Huffington Post. For Mr. Wong, it’s important for people working in the real estate industry as well as its partners to understand the reasons for the influx of Asian investment in Vancouver before the local populace condemns the rising cost of a single family home.
It’s an unfortunate refrain that’s just a little bit embarrassing for a multicultural country like Canada, but the fact is that buyers from China purchased about one third of Vancouver’s housing inventory in 2015, and local buyers are casting blame as prices soar.
Let’s take a step back for a second. If you could live anywhere in the world, what would your list of priorities look like?
Safe, Beautiful Environment
The city of Vancouver includes a moderate climate, proximity to the ocean and picturesque mountains all in a relatively safe and comfortable environment. The reasons Canadians choose to live here are the same reasons people choose to migrate from China, Taiwan, Korea, Britain, Australia and so on. People all over the world want to experience life in one of the world’s most impressive cities, even if it’s just for a little while.
For many people moving to Canada, particularly Vancouver and Toronto, they’re doing so with the promises of living under a stable government. Sure, it’s our right to complain about politics in this country (even though we’ll probably still apologize for doing so). But compared with a lot of other locations around the world, we have it pretty good. For many people migrating to Vancouver, it’s the first time they’ve lived in a country that’s not under threat of sanction, oppression or outright corruption from their government.
People in Canada are guaranteed land titles when they purchase their home. This doesn’t happen in the United States, so foreign investors making the move to North America are much better insured when they buy a home and start their banking relationships in Canada. Fraud is a dangerous reality for a lot of ex-patriots; a guaranteed land title system puts those fears to rest. In Vancouver and throughout Canada, home owners won’t have their property taken from them by the government. The security of purchasing in Vancouver is the most important element for a lot of foreign investors.
Like we’ve talked about before, there are distinct advantages for foreign investors when they purchase land in Vancouver, but those advantages are shared by local property owners and business operators as well. Extra capital coming into the economy is ultimately spread around, and that line of spending doesn’t care if you’re from China, Canada or the moon.
Really, is it so surprising that the beautiful city in which we live is so irresistible?