US & Canada
According to new data released by the provincial government, foreign buyers of real estate in Quebec are putting pressure on prices even though this class of buyers accounts for only a tiny share of the total transactions taking place in the market compared to Vancouver and Toronto.
Non-Canadian residents generated 1,307 property transactions in Quebec last year, representing just 1% of all deals, finance ministry documents showed. That means the situation has changed little from that obtaining in 2008, when they made up 0.8% of the total. Foreigners mostly purchased high-end properties, averaging $559,000, the finance ministry added.
U.S.-based buyers made up the biggest share of foreign acquirers with 32% of all transactions, while French buyers were next with 20%. This was followed by Chinese nationals at 16% – a marked contrast from 2006, when Chinese residents accounted for just 1.3% of all foreign home transactions in Quebec.
Quebec recently began tracking and releasing data on the country of residence of home buyers following a decision by Ontario and British Columbia to impose taxes on foreign buyers.
“When we look at average prices in the Montreal area, compared to other places in Canada, they are still relatively affordable,” Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitao told Bloomberg. “I don’t think we are at all in the same type of position as our neighbours in Toronto or Vancouver. There is no need, in our view, to consider any sort of more intense measures.”
Last year’s land-registry data, compiled by JLR Solutions Foncieres, show foreign buyers bought single-family homes that were twice as expensive on average as those acquired by Quebec residents, the finance ministry said. Co-ownership properties acquired by foreigners were 40% more expensive than those bought by locals, the ministry also said.
Foreigners accounted for just 1.4% of housing deals in Montreal last year, compared with 3.2% in Toronto and 3.5% in Vancouver, according to budget documents.