News Local

Chinese New Year brings in foreign home buyers

By Tyler Orton, 24 Hours Vancouver

Metro Vancouver will receive an influx of businessmen from mainland Chinese this week, intent on spending their two-week Lunar New Year holiday with family, as well as scooping up significant amounts of real estate.

Julia Rowell, sales manager at downtown Vancouver's Maddox development, said this phenomenon has been going on for over 25 years, but 2012 looks to be especially busy.

"We expect to see an increase in interested buyers, especially from mainland China. I guess because of the year of the dragon," she said. "It's a lucky year for them to purchase, and to see family, and travel and invest."

University of B.C. Sauder School of Business professor Tsur Somerville said there are other reasons this Chinese New Year looks to be a particularly active period.

"There's a sense in China that the property market there is slowing down, so that can play out here in terms of people who are looking to perhaps invest someplace else that's more attractive."

Somerville added these homebuyers are primarily wealthy immigrants with enough money in the bank to pay for properties immediately.

"They're not going to be able to get a loan here for it and they can't get a loan at home for it."