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CMHC clueless on foreign buyer data

June 06 2018

CMHC analyst Eric Bond speaks to Vancouver Board of Trade May 25. -- Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) is clueless regarding the impact of foreign capital on Canada’s residential market, a senior analyst told a recent Vancouver housing conference.
“We don’t know,” Eric Bond, market analysis principal with CMHC told the Greater Vancouver Board of Trades’ Housing Forum 2018 on May 25.
Despite the intense focus on the role of foreign buyers in the housing market by Statistics Canada, Revenue Canada, and the British Columbia Ministry of Finance over the past two years, Bond said, “We do not know, concretely, what the impact of foreign capital has been on the Vancouver housing market. Anyone claiming otherwise, whether they are claiming it is a big deal or not a big deal at all, is stating an opinion as we do not currently have the data to answer that question.”
Bond, a key member of a forum panel on the impact of foreign investment, explained that foreign capital flows into real estate in Canada “are not tracked and until we have data on that and where it is going, it is very difficult to determine [its impact].”
Bond repeated CMHC’s 2017 questionable finding that only 4.8 per cent of Metro Vancouver homes were owned by foreign nationals, but he conceded that number may be rising quickly, especially in the condominium market.
Since 2016, the share of new condominiums pre-sold to foreign buyers has reached 19 per cent in Vancouver and accounts for nearly one in four new condo buyers in some suburban markets, Bond explained.



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