A new survey released by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has found foreign ownership of condominiums has increased in Vancouver.
In 2014, it was found 2.3 per cent of all condos were owned by foreign residents, and now that number has gone up to 3.5 per cent – about a 50 per cent increase.
The CMHC says while these numbers are generally low, the year-over-year increase was statistically significant.
The information is collected through telephone interviews with property management companies, or strata boards. In the context of this particular study, “foreign ownership” is defined based on the country of residence rather than nationality – that is, someone who lives outside of Canada.
Foreign home ownership in Vancouver has been a hot topic lately. A recent study found that 66 per cent of homes in West Point Grey, University Endowment Lands and Dunbar neighbourhoods between August 2014 and February 2015 were sold to Chinese buyers. That study was based on whether or not buyers had anglicized Chinese names or not.
After that study was released, Mayor Gregor Robertson said blaming a group of people or a last name is the wrong way to approach the issue.
“This is a public policy issue, not a race issue – and any confusion to the contrary only risks dividing our city and distracting Vancouver and our region from seeking the urgent action that is needed from the Provincial and Federal governments,” he said.
The CMHC says they are exploring other ways to access additional data on foreign homeownership, specifically on whether foreign owners buy these homes for family or personal occupancy or revenue generation purposes.