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The impact of Chinese buyers on Vancouver’s single family home market

I have a new favorite blog that I think you might all enjoy as well. It’s called BT | A | Works and it is the “architectural and urban research and development division” of Bing Thom Architects in Vancouver. 

I think it’s it’s important to have people in a firm who are researching and experimenting with ideas beyond the day-to-day tasks of a job. So I was excited to discover their work this morning.

Their most recent post is a look at ownership patterns of single family homes sold in 3 west end neighborhoods in Vancouver from September 2014 to February 2015 (a 6 month period). These are some of the most expensive areas in the city and, collectively, they found 172 properties sold with an aggregate value of around $520 million.

Given the presence of foreign buyers in Vancouver’s real estate market, one of the things they then did was identify “non-anglicized Chinese names” on the title records. This means names like “Li Xian”, but not names like “Andrew Shui-Him Yan”, because the anglicized first name suggests that they are probably not a new immigrant or probably not living abroad.

Here’s what they found:

In total, 66% of the properties in the sample (172 properties) were associated with a non-anglicized Chinese name. And for properties over $5 million, the percentage jumps to 88%. The other interesting thing worth noting is that 23% of the registered owners declared their occupation as “homemaker/housewife.”

I thought this would serve as an interesting follow-up to the post I wrote about a month ago called, Is Hongcouver better off than Vancouver? If you’d like to see the full BT | A | Works presentation, click here.

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