Recent news stories have focused on the foreign buyer segment of the market, concluding that foreign investors are unduly inflating home values and driving potential domestic buyers out of the housing market, especially those looking to purchase their first home.
However, there are data and analyses from a number of sources that point to foreign investment as insufficient to impact a market as large and diverse as Metro Vancouver, save for a small segment of luxury homes. In addition, significant upward pressure on single- detached home values is largely driven by land scarcity and densification policies in the metro region. These efforts have achieved relative stability in the values of apartments and townhouses that now comprise two-thirds of the housing stock.
The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) finds that, while no hard numbers on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver housing market exists, the available data and analysis on the housing stock and flow of residential transactions in the region suggest that foreign ownership of housing is considerably less than 5 per cent of the housing stock and not more than 5 per cent of sales activity.