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Large number of Vancouver condos sit empty: Report

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – New numbers show a large number of condominiums in Vancouver sit empty, suggesting just how much of a role off-shore investors play in our local housing market.

BC Real Estate Association Chief Economist Cameron Muir says the analysis of 2011 census numbers done by UBC planning professor Andrew Yan isn’t much of a surprise.

His study states in areas like Coal Harbour, 23 per cent of units are empty, but Muir says that doesn’t represent the overall picture.

“Overall in the City of Vancouver, about 7.7 per cent [of condos] are empty at any particular period of time and that’s higher than Calgary at 5.0 and Toronto at 5.4 per cent.”

“But I don’t think it’s a surprise in Vancouver that we see slightly higher than other big cities in Canada, in terms of the amount that are potentially owned by investors,” he adds.

“I don’t think it’s a shock to learn that in some particular tony markets of the Downtown area, we see a higher number of investor-owned units that are potentially or are vacant at any particular time owned as a second property.”

Muir points out many condos in Coal Harbour are owned by off-shore types who treat the units like recreational properties.