New BC Notaries Real Estate Report – August 2016

August 2016

BC Notaries Report Similar Proportion of Real Estate Purchased for Investment Purposes

in Lower Mainland vs. Other Areas of B.C.


Buyers Outside of Metro Vancouver More Likely to Have High-Ratio Mortgages

Vancouver, BC—The Society of Notaries Public of B.C. conducted an internal survey of 103 Notaries practicing across British Columbia between July 11 and 25, 2016; coincidentally concluding on the day the Province of B.C. announced a new 15% property transfer tax for foreign real estate buyers in Metro Vancouver.

The survey, conducted regularly by BC Notaries, asked members about various trends and factors they noted and observed when conveying clients’ real estate purchases and sales. Notaries provide conveyancing or other legal services on more than half of all real estate transactions in B.C. and members from Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Northern B.C., Kamloops-Okanagan, Sea-to-Sky/Sunshine Coast and Kootenays participated in the survey.

Investment vs. Residence – Metro Vancouver vs. Rest of Province

The survey found that the overall percentage of properties purchased for investment purposes rather than as the buyer’s principle residence was not substantially different in Greater Vancouver than it was elsewhere in B.C.

The survey found that 43 of 53 Notaries in Metro Vancouver reported that less than 25% of their clients were purchasing their new property as an investment; while 49 of 50 Notaries who practice outside of Metro Vancouver throughout B.C. said less than 25% of their clients were buying for investment purposes. (See below for regional breakdowns.)

High-Ratio Mortgages – Metro Vancouver vs. Rest of Province

Notaries who participated in the same survey from various regions cited significant differences in the percentage of clients and properties with high-ratio mortgages, defined as mortgages with less than a 20% down payment.

In Metro Vancouver, 28 of 53 Notaries – more than half - reported that less than 10% of client transactions represented a high-ratio mortgage; while only 4 of 50 Notaries outside of Metro Vancouver cited less than 10% of these mortgages. Outside of Metro Vancouver, in smaller urban centers and rural areas 16 (or 32%) of Notaries indicated 25 to 50% of transactions and 16 (32%) indicated over 50% of transactions were completed with high ratio mortgages. (More regional details below.)

Investment vs. Residence: Regional Breakdown

Notaries across B.C. were asked “What percentage of your client's transactions are for properties being purchased as an investment, rather than a home your client will live in?”. Following is a regional breakdown of responses. For Metro Vancouver, see page 1.

High-Ratio Mortgages – Metro Vancouver vs. Rest of Province

Notaries across B.C. were asked: “Approximately what percentage of your clients real estate transactions have a high ratio mortgage (less than 20% downpayment)?”. Following is a regional breakdown of responses. For Metro Vancouver, see page 2.

About BC Notaries:

The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 355 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

Media contact:

Karen Cook Brenda Jones

604-551-9074 604-312-1070

About The Society

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