Offshore buyers snap up newer condos in Toronto, Vancouver -agency

Thu Apr 7, 2016 5:16pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, April 7 (Reuters) - Foreign buyers own one in every 10 condos built in downtown Toronto since 2010, according to a study by Canada's national housing agency, which looked at the share of offshore ownership in condominiums across the country.

The report, from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), found that international buyers were most likely to invest in newer condos in two key markets, Vancouver and Toronto, and that interest in those markets was growing.

"In the Toronto and Vancouver CMAs, the shares of foreign ownership also showed a statistically significant increase from 2014 to 2015," the report stated, noting that the high number of new completions in 2015 merited further analysis.

The study is the latest by the agency as it looks to help quantify the role foreign buyers are playing in the two red hot real estate markets, where sky-rocketing prices are pushing housing out of the grasp of local residents.

Foreign investment, particularly from Mainland China, in the luxury segment of the market is increasingly being blamed for driving up prices across the two metropolitan regions.

In the Greater Toronto metropolitan area, 7.4 percent of newer condos are held by offshore owners, while in the city center the number was 10.1 percent, according to the study.

In metro Vancouver, 6 percent of condos built in 2010 or later were owned by foreign buyers. The report did not break out downtown Vancouver ownership figures.

When factoring in older buildings, the CMHC found that 3.3 percent of all condos in metro Toronto were held by offshore owners and 3.5 percent in metro Vancouver.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Andrew Hay)