A Re/Max report has highlighted a sharp increase in the number of luxury home sales in Vancouver in the first seven months of 2015.
There were 572 homes that sold for more than $3 million, according to the real-estate company.
That’s a 79 percent increase over the 319 sold over the first seven months of 2014.
“The increase of sales at the top-end of the luxury market can be attributed to two factors,” Re/Max stated. “The first factor is overall price appreciation in the Vancouver market, driven by low inventory and high demand for single-family homes.”
This has resulted in more homes being sold at higher prices.
The second factor, according to Re/Max, “is very high demand for luxury homes from foreign buyers”.
Re/Max did not supply any data in the report to back up this contention.
“Foreign buyers, primarily from China, tend to be families looking to live in Vancouver, viewing Canada as an economically and socially stable country in which to invest their money and raise a family,” the company noted. “Their home-buying decisions are strongly influenced by proximity to good schools, and newly-built houses with top-quality finishes are in highest demand.”
Re/Max also reported that some real-estate agents are assisting Chinese buyers in settling into Vancouver by helping them buy insurance and a car.
Meanwhile, real-estate marketer Bob Rennie told the Georgia Straight by phone that 60 percent of buyers at the Independent lived within 10 kilometres of the Rize Alliance project near the corner of East Broadway and Kingsway.
“I believe that over $3 million isn’t what we’re worried about with local incomes,” Rennie said. “It’s finding density below [that price].”
He pointed out that there are only 47,000 single-family homes in Vancouver and it’s unlikely that any more will be built during his lifetime.
“If we acknowledge immigration, we’re going to have to accept solutions, which means density,” Rennie added. “I’m happy to say that unfortunately because of what I do for a living, I benefit from some of these solutions. That shouldn’t preclude me with coming up with solutions.”
In a speech earlier this year to the Urban Development Institute, Rennie said that three percent of the buyers of condos at the Independent were offshore Asians and two percent were offshore Europeans.
In the same speech, he noted that there were only three offshore European and no offshore Asian purchasers at the Stratchona Village development at 900 East Hastings Street.
At another Vancouver project marketed by his company, Wall Centre Central Park, Rennie said that only 30 of the 1,009 units were purchased by offshore Asians and Europeans.