Feb 2011 8

Foreign Investors Driving Vancouver Housing Prices Up

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Photo by Maya Anas Yataghne Photo by Maya Anas Yataghne

The Economist’s Liveability Ranking places Vancouver on the very top of its chart year after year, yet still many wonder what are the forces that drive our city’s real estate prices so high in comparison with the rest of Canada. As we mentioned in one of our recent posts, Vancouver housing attracts more and more richer immigrants and foreign investors.

Compared to the other top global cities, Vancouver is actually still pretty cheap, with prices lower than Shanghai or Beijing, which are not even in the top 10 most livable cities, mainly due to air pollution, lower quality educational system and the lack of opportunities for bigger families. On the other hand, Vancouver offers a welcoming multicultural environment, thriving culture, excellent schools, a fresh mild climate and a vast array of recreational possibilities.

This results in a natural demand from newly wealthy Asians, as they have an affinity for real estate investment, which they perceive to be very safe in Canada due to a stable banking and political system. One of our older articles pointed out that Chinese buyers are specially interested in downtown Vancouver with luxurious condos and detached houses with access to exceptional amenities and education possibilities.

The most popular neighbourhoods which are seeing a continuous boost in prices are Richmond, Vancouver Westside and West Vancouver. The average prices of homes in the prestigious Westside are $1,698,925 and an average detached house in the luxurious West Vancouver can be bought for $1,420,220, which is still considered a great investment opportunity. This January, a lot of homes in these areas are reported to sell way above asking price. These days, we can see more and more real estate agents learning Mandarin, or hiring Mandarin speaking staff.

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