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Foreign Buyers a Small Fraction of Canadian Real Estate Purchases: Report

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While foreign buyers’ reputations may precede them, it appears as though the long-standing belief that this buyer category “dominates” the Canadian market is inaccurate.

This is according to Baker Real Estate Incorporated’s Baker Insights Group (B.I.G.), a research and analysis service that provides developers with custom market insights, alongside data for sales optimization.

B.I.G.’s newest Market Report, entitled Foreign Buyers Analysis, describes the way foreign buyers are typically seen to be “‘crowding out’ local buyers,” when actually, “nothing could be further from the truth.”

Authored by Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting, the report displays that in the last 10 years, only ~3% of Baker’s sales — which totalled ~39,000 during this time period — were to buyers from outside Canada.

READ: Condo Buyers Will Pay More for a Den, Even if Unit Size is the Same

On Twitter, Myers shared a visual of where these international sales took place. The breakdown of foreign buyers includes 907 residents of China, 149 of the United States, 111 of Hong Kong, 26 of UAE, and 20 of Iran.

A total of 37,585 buyers (96.7%) were residents of Canada when their deals were signed.

Most recently, through 2020, B.I.G. reports that just 1% of Baker’s 2020 sales were to buyers from outside of Canada. The same metric was reported at 3% in 2019, and reached as high as 5% in 2018, and 9% in both 2016 and 2015 respectively.

“To date, minimal research has been published regarding new condominium buyers and where they live,” says Barbara Lawlor, CEO at Baker Real Estate Incorporated.

Where local purchases are concerned, Myers says “the Toronto projects had a non-resident buyer share of 4%, and municipalities that had a higher percentage include Oakville, Montreal and Quebec City.”

As a leader in the new condo sphere, Baker sells a significant share of the new housing in the Greater Toronto Area — specifically in the investor-heavy realm that is Toronto’s downtown core.

“Over the past ten years, there has been a lot of misinformation surrounding who is purchasing new condominium units in Canada,” explains Lawlor. “By working closely with developers, we understand the critical role investors play in bringing new builds to life and are excited to share insights on where investment in the GTA’s new condo market actually stems from.”

Cover Image: Shutterstock

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