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Chinese Interest in Canadian Real Estate Is Still Strong

By Allison Halliday | March 1, 2012

Apparently Chinese investors are just as interested in purchasing Canadian real estate, with Toronto and Vancouver still forecast to be top of their list. According to a new report from Colliers International real estate services, around 20% to 40% of investors in these cities are from the Chinese mainland.

toronto city skyline by Elenathewise-Fotolia

Vancouver remains a perennial favorite, especially at around 30% of the city's residents are Chinese, and there are around 300,000 Chinese residing in the province of British Columbia. Investors in Vancouver property can also benefit from the areas of educational opportunities, while Vancouver airport has a number of daily flights to Chinese cities.

But Vancouver and Toronto are facing competition from London and Singapore, with Chinese investors buying around 20% of all new builds in London. Singapore's low interest rates and stable rental yields are also proving attractive, and of course the country benefits from its close proximity to mainland China.

In spite of the continued interest from Chinese investors, it still remains to be seen how the Canadian real estate market will perform this year, as a report in Reuters shows prices have declined for the second month in a row, dropping by an average of 0.2% in December compared to November, but prices in Vancouver and Toronto dropped by 0.3%, while the capital city of British Columbia, Victoria saw prices decline by 0.8%. Halifax saw the biggest price decline of 0.9%, but apparently overall prices in Canada increased by an average of 6.8% from a year earlier. Prices in Toronto rose by 9.9%, by 8.2% in Vancouver, and by 7.7% in Hamilton Ontario and Québec city.

A Reuters survey of 14 economists and strategists expects prices to increase by just 0.1% this year and by the same amount next year. They also thought Ottawa would tighten mortgage regulations within the next year. Last month the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation forecast property prices would increase during the next two years, but the sales figures and new housing starts would remain largely the same.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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