January 2016 BC Notaries Real Estate Report - Foreign Buyers

January 2016

BC Notaries Real Estate Report Survey Finds Foreign Buyers Involved in 5% of BC-wide Real Estate Purchases

The Society of Notaries Public of BC conducted an internal online survey of members on key real estate topics in November 2015 and found the 133 participants reported that 5% of all residential real estate transactions managed by BC Notaries province-wide represent foreign buyers.

When asked if they’d noticed any change in the amount of foreign buyer purchases in their community over 2015, 41% reported they had not observed any change, 37% had seen an increase, and 13% a decrease.

When asked what percentage of their annual transactions represented foreign buyers; 33% of Notaries said they had no foreign buyer transactions; 59% said 10% or less of their transactions represented a foreign buyer; and only 2%, both in Greater Vancouver, reported more than half of their transactions represented a foreign buyer purchase.

“There is a lot of ongoing high-profile public discussion about the rising cost of housing in many areas of B.C., the potential linkage to foreign buyers and resulting pressure on regulators to address this through a change in taxes or other fees on real estate purchases. Our survey results, which indicate that the vast majority of real estate purchases in B.C. are made by B.C. or Canadian residents, points to the need for careful consideration of any related legislative changes,” said Tammy Morin Nakashima, President of BC Notaries and a Notary in Steveston.

Notaries provide conveyancing or other legal services on more than half of all residential real estate transactions in B.C. and are highly trained and experienced in both simple and complex real estate transactions.

Many BC Notaries speak multiple languages and foreign-language Notarial services are available at many Notary offices throughout Greater Vancouver and across B.C. To find a Notary that speaks any of 46 languages, clients can visit www.notaries.bc.ca/findanotary and search by language.

Greater Vancouver:

The 60 Notaries who practice in Greater Vancouver reported an average of 7% of their 2015 transactions represented foreign buyers.

Here, 33% of Notaries reported no foreign buyer transactions; 52% reported 10% or less of their real estate transactions represented foreign buyers; 5% reported that 26 to 50% of their transactions represented foreign buyers and only 3% of Greater Vancouver Notaries said that more than half included foreign buyers.

In terms of change over 2015, 44% saw no change, 42% saw an increase, and 5% saw a decrease in foreign buyer activity.

Many BC Notaries speak multiple languages and foreign language Notarial services are available at many Notary offices throughout Greater Vancouver and across B.C. To find a Notary that speaks any of 46 languages, clients can visit www.notaries.bc.ca/findanotary and search by language

 

“Deciding whether or not you can or should support your child’s purchase of a first home, and how to structure the arrangement is a personal choice for each family,” said Tammy Morin Nakashima, President of BC Notaries and a Notary in Steveston. “There are several things families should consider, including whether or not the lending parents should share in ownership and how everyone should plan for the unfortunate possibility of death or divorce. We help our clients choose an arrangement that’s right for them.”

Notaries provide conveyancing or other legal services on more than half of all real estate transactions in B.C. and are highly trained and experienced in both simple and complex real estate transactions.

Notaries from Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Northern B.C., and the Okanagan, Kamloops and Kootenay regions participated in the survey, which showed that the percentage of first-time buyers typically getting a financial kick-start varied throughout B.C.

Fraser Valley:

In the Fraser Valley, foreign buyers were represented in only an estimated 2% of Notaries’ real estate transactions.

Here, 31% of respondents had no foreign buyer transactions and the remaining 69% of Notaries indicated these transactions represented 10% or less of the conveyancing they managed in 2015.

Of the 18 Fraser Valley Notaries who participated, 33% reported they had noticed an increase in foreign buyers; 27% had no change; and 20% reported a decrease in foreign buyer activity in their community.

Vancouver Island:

On the Island, 20 participating Notaries reported that an average of 2% of their real estate conveyancing represented a foreign buyer and 30% indicated they’d had no foreign buyer clients in 2015; while 70% said foreign buyers represented 10% or less of all real estate transactions.

Here 44% of Notaries reported no change in foreign buyer activity; 39% an increase; and 6% a decrease.

Kamloops - Okanagan:

Of 11 Notaries participating from Kamloops and the Okanagan, they reported only 1% of real estate purchases represented a foreign buyer over the last year. While 40% of Notaries had no foreign buyer activity, 60% said that foreign buyers represented 10% or less of real estate purchases.

Here 57% had not experienced any change in the level of foreign buyer activity and 29% noted an increase.

About BC Notaries:

The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 340 highly-trained Notary professionals. Most have locally owned and operated offices and all provide personal assistance to clients around the province. Individuals, families and businesses seek the services of BC Notaries for a wide range of non-contentious legal matters, including residential and commercial real estate transfers, mortgage refinancing, Wills and advanced healthcare planning, powers of attorney, and other important documents.

The Notary’s Tradition of Trust spans 2000 years. Notaries first came to British Columbia over 100 years ago. They continue to serve their valued clients and their communities across the province. For more information, please visit www.notaries.bc.ca.

 

Media contact:
Karen Cook
karen@cookpublicrelations.com

604-551-9074

About The Society

700 - 625 Howe Street Box 44, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2T6
  • Phone: (604) 681-4516
  • Fax: (604) 681-7258
  • Toll-Free: (800) 663-0343
  • E-mail: General Inquiries