Foreign Buyers of Luxury Homes are Mostly Immigrant Residents: Re/Max

Joannah Connolly
September 2, 2015

The luxury home segment in key markets such as Vancouver has unsurprisingly been found to be largely driven by overseas buyers, according to a new Re/Max report.

However, the report aims to debunk the common perception that most of these purchases are by foreign investors looking to park their money in Vancouver real estate and leave the property empty.

RE/MAX 2015 Spotlight on Luxury says Re/Max brokers and agents reported that foreign buyers have continued to drive demand in the Vancouver luxury market in the first half of 2015.

It adds, “Foreign buyers, primarily from China, tend to be families looking to live in Vancouver, viewing Canada as an economicallyand socially stable country in which to invest their money and raise a family. Their home-buying decisions are strongly influenced by proximity to good schools, and newly-built houses with top-quality finishes are in highest demand.”

Gurinder Sandhu, executive vice-president of Re/Max Integra Ontario-Atlantic Canada, told CBC, "While there has been a lot of concern about foreign investors in Canada's housing market, we're seeing that the foreign buyers in our major luxury markets are living in their properties."

The report said that increase of sales at the top end of the market – home sales over $3 million – can also be attributed overall price appreciation, driven by low inventory and high demand for single-family homes, which has led to more homes being sold above the $3 million threshold.

Between January 1 and July 31 of this year, 572 properties sold for over $3 million, compared with 319 during the same period in 2014 – an increase of 79 per cent, said the report.

Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.