Bravo festival condos floor plans. Why Canadian house prices sit on the sidelines? “Business has slowed down a lot.” Wei Gang (a pseudonym), the head of a Canadian real estate investment agency, lamented to the 21st century economic reporter.Please Visit: Bravo festival condos floor plans to Get Your VVIP Registration Today!
Eighteen months ago, he received 2-3 groups of Chinese high net worth people buying houses almost every week, taking them to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and other areas to see and buy houses. Even there was a saying in the industry at that time: “on every flight from China to Canada, more than 40% of the passengers came to buy a house.”
But now, he can only receive 1 or 2 Chinese property groups a month, and they are particularly cautious compared with the huge amounts of money they spent in the past. Behind this, the Canadian property market continues to be in the dilemma of falling prices.
Recently, the National Bank of Canada released an index showing that house prices in Canada fell 0.3% month-on-month in March this year, the sixth consecutive month of decline. Data released earlier by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) showed that Canadian home sales fell 9.1% in February from the previous month, the lowest since November 2012.
“the situation will certainly not improve in April, because Chinese Tuhao, the largest overseas buyer in the Canadian property market, is now thinking about selling and cashing out as soon as possible, rather than making a bottom.” Wei just pointed out. Recently, he received advice from a number of wealthy Chinese to sell their Canadian villas, which is 3-4 times higher than in 2017, but the problem is that even if they sell at a 10% discount, they may not be able to find Chinese compatriots.
Jesse Friedlander, chief investment officer of investment firm Des Voeux Partners, believes that many Canadian real estate agents blame this dilemma on whether Chinese tycoons buy up or down, as well as other recent influencing factors. But in fact, the underlying reason behind this is that more and more Chinese high net worth people planning to invest in overseas real estate are becoming rational-they know that the surge in Canadian house prices in previous years was caused by Chinese investors and are now unwilling to take the last shot.
Wei Gang said bluntly that as fewer and fewer Chinese high net worth people are going to invest in Canada, he is already considering changing careers, otherwise he will not be far from losing his job. The Canadian property market remains depressed, reaching a “peak” in 2018.
According to the latest data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (Canadian Real Estate Association,CREA), house prices in Canada plunged 5% last year from 2017, the first decline since 2008, and even the biggest drop since 1995. Echoing this, total turnover in the Canadian property market fell 11 per cent year-on-year last year, the lowest since 2012.
It is worth noting that the hardest hit areas in Canada are precisely Vancouver on the west coast and Edmonton in Calgary, where Chinese investors flocked to before. However, the sharp fall in house prices in these areas has not aroused the bottom-buying enthusiasm of “Chinese aunts”.
“at the beginning of the fall in Canadian house prices at the beginning of last year, Chinese investors poured in to buy the bottom, but then they found that Canadian house prices were falling and stopped patronizing.” Wei Gang told the 21st Century Economic report that even some Chinese investors who had signed home purchase contracts at that time would rather give up the deposit than fulfill the purchase payment contract, because Canadian house prices fell by more than 4% at the end of last year. As a result, the loss of margin is less than the decline in house prices.
In his view, the reluctance of Chinese investors to copy the bottom of the Canadian property market is mainly due to two reasons: first, the tax levied by developed countries on overseas buyers is becoming heavier and heavier, which deters more and more high net worth people in China. Second, Canada has tightened its mortgage policy since last year, which has also increased the financial cost of buying overseas homes for high net worth people in China.
“it is true that many high net worth people in China have been frightened by the strict house purchase policy.” He analyzed that several Chinese high net worth investors he had contacted since the end of last year had originally planned to copy the bottom of the Vancouver property market, but when they applied for mortgage loans, they found that local banks had conducted extremely stringent “stress tests” on their financial situation. In addition, three interest rate increases by the Bank of Canada led to a sharp increase in lending rates (more than many Chinese investors can afford), which made them feel particularly “uncomfortable”. Finally decided to give up the Canadian house purchase plan.
Nowadays, many Canadian real estate agencies can only “keep an eye on” Chinese high net worth people who want to emigrate to Canada, because for them, buying a house locally is a “rigid demand”.
“however, it is not easy to get them to pay for a house.” A business director of an overseas investment immigration agency told reporters bluntly that they already knew quite well about the movements of the Canadian property market in the process of applying for immigration, and they would buy only when Canadian house prices fell to the bottom.
In the face of the continuing downturn in the Canadian property market, investment banks also began to “pour cold water”. ING analyst James Knightly released the latest report, pointing out that falling home sales, rising debt service costs and new mortgage regulations have all put continued depressed pressure on the Canadian housing market. It is expected that the Canadian housing market will remain in the predicament of falling prices in the coming months, and it will not be possible to pull Canadian property prices out of the downward trend until the Canadian government implements a new real estate stimulus policy in the autumn.
Wei Gang was optimistic that this indicates that his light business will also usher in an inflection point.
Since April, he has been in China, introducing to many high net worth people the pulling effect of Canada’s new real estate stimulus on house prices, stimulating their bottom-buying enthusiasm. But it didn’t work well.
“now many high net worth people in China have become particularly rational. On the one hand, they know that the sharp rise in Canadian property prices in previous years was started by the Chinese, and they will not take the last shot even if prices fall back now; on the other hand, they have done a detailed understanding of the Canadian property market and have their own judgment on the timing of real bottom-cutting investment.” Wei just told the 21st Century Economic report.