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New Research Explores What’s Behind Foreign Investment in Canadian Real Estate

With growing public and political attention on foreign real estate investment in Canada, the China Institute at the University of Alberta (CIUA) has released a paper, written by Kerry Sun, that examines issues surrounding the controversy over foreign real estate investment, particularly from China, in Canada. 

Chinese global outward investment in real estate has increased more than 200-fold since 2008 to approximately US$33.7 billion in mid-2014. Perceptions of significant foreign investment in the Vancouver real estate market have raised concerns by some regarding housing affordability, and have drawn attention to the origins of foreign capital, prompting calls for greater regulation of foreign ownership. Since 2008, median house prices in Vancouver have risen from approximately 8 times the median household income to 10.6 times in 2014. This paper explores the complications involved in assessing the prevalence of foreign investment in residential property and provides an overview of the regulatory approaches adopted by other jurisdictions.

“While foreign investment in urban real estate is a sensitive subject, the China Institute believes that bringing facts to bear in public discussion of this issue offers the prospect of adding light rather than heat to the public policy debate.” – Director Gordon Houlden

The paper can be read here.

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