Every month, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) does a small poll of its realtor members.
The survey basically asks agents to describe their most recent buyers. For example, 226 realtors sampled in April reported that more than 24 percent of their clients were first-time home buyers.
Another class of almost 24 percent were property owners moving to other, comparable, homes.
In addition, more than 22 percent of buyers were local or domestic investors. Coming in fourth at almost 11 percent were owners of either condos or townhouses who were moving into detached homes. Also, almost six percent of buyers were owners of detached homes who were downsizing to condos.
Foreign investors made up four percent of buyers, according to this latest REBGV survey.
Based on the association’s polling going back two years, from April 2014, the pattern hasn’t changed. First-time purchasers, homeowners transferring to similar properties, and local investors are the most active buyers. The level of participation by foreign investors over the past two years hovered between 1.5 percent and six percent.
REBGV president Dan Morrison has been in the realty business for 25 years. According to him, most of his clients are locals who are either going to live in the homes they’re buying or are purchasing for investment.
Morrison said the provincial government’s move to collect citizenship information from buyers, starting in June this year, is a sound call.
“Everybody is looking for one reason why the market is going crazy, and, you know, there is no one reason,” Morrison told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. “There’s many different reasons, but the more facts we can get about it, the more we can better understand it.”
According to Morrison, B.C.’s good economy and low interest rates are among the factors behind the active real-estate market.