VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Would you like to sell your home directly to a Chinese buyer without bothering with the local market? A Vancouver realtor is now giving you that option.
Mark Wiens with Macdonald Realty is going to be in Shanghai this weekend at what’s called the Luxury Property Showcase, hawking local homes directly to Chinese buyers.
While nothing Wiens is doing is illegal, the flyers he distributed advertising his jaunt have been the cause of some outrage online. But beyond that, the influx of foreign buyers could have wider economic implications for our region.
Hilliard MacBeth is the author of ‘When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash’ and feels the influx of foreign buyers is contributing to what he believes is unchecked speculation.
“Most countries in the world, including Australia, which has a very large amount of foreign buying from China, keep very close track of it,” says MacBeth. “They go one step further. They put a tax on it as well, and that would very much be a good idea, I think, in terms of not letting people just buy properties and sit on them and not pay any taxes while they’re waiting for prices to rise.
“That’s one of the biggest factors of creating bubbles and making them worse, are people speculating by buying and then just sitting rather than using the properties. A tax would help a lot with that, because then that adds the burden to the speculator, whether that be a foreign speculator or even a domestic speculator.”
As a result, MacBeth is calling for more regulation and monitoring of foreign buyers. “The first step would be to get accurate data.”
Last month, Evan Siddall, chief executive of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., said foreign buyers may be responsible for “a substantial portion” of luxury home purchases in Toronto and Vancouver.