Representatives of two real estate companies are travelling with the B.C. Premier on a trade mission to Asia, raising questions about the optics of the perceived partnership at a time when many are calling for an end to foreign real estate investment.

The B.C. government lists more than 60 companies taking part in thetrade mission to Korea, Japan and the Philippines as part of the province's strategy to create more international trading partners. 

Listed among those companies are two real estate brokerages Nu Stream Realty and Sutton West Coast Realty.

This news comes weeks after realtors in Vancouver came under question for advertising property information in China, before the same opportunity to buy was advertised in Canada.

Information about B.C. properties for sale — translated into Chinese from the Multiple Listing Service used by agents —was published through a Shanghai-based company to give clients a jump on bidding, according to the Victoria Times Colonist report on April 13.

Concern over foreign capital and real estate

"It's bad optics," said University of British Columbia business professor Tsur Somerville. 

"At a time when people in the Lower Mainland are very concerned about the extent to which foreign capital is driving up prices here and contributing to affordability options, it seems a little bit politically dicey to take [brokerage] firms ... along on a trip to Asia."

The trade mission is not visiting China.

One of the companies, Nu Stream Realty, said it is on the trade mission to promote its commercial real estate division.

"This trip is mainly the commercial purpose. So we don't do any promotion for the residential side," said Anna Zhang, the company's executive vice president for commercial division.

She said one example of the goal of the trip is to find investors for construction projects in B.C.

"We want to promote B.C. and Vancouver particularly as a great place to do business ... we want to attract more overseas investors," said Zhang, who said there are 100 agents in the four-month-old company.

"I am sure it is not the government [of B.C.] paying for it," Zhang confirmed.

CBC News reached out to Sutton West Coast Realty, but the company has not responded.

In a written statement, the province said companies apply to take part in the trade mission and pay their own way on the trip. 

"While real estate is not a specific industry sector of focus on the mission, companies in the industry may have an interest in connecting with foreign companies that intend to establish a presence in Vancouver and will require information on site selection, leasing office space, etc.," the statement said.

The province did not respond to questions about how companies chosen for the trip are selected.

 

 

With files from Kamil Karamali

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One Burrard Place
  ANNOUNCING CANADA'S FIRST
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Star Chef on Demand STAR CHEF ON DEMAND
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As we put the finishing touches on our stunning presentation centre, we will be reaching out to you very soon with your preview opportunity. In the meantime, we have more details on the expansive amenities of Club One and the Star Services.

We will be in touch very soon with details on your exclusive preview opportunity. We look forward to introducing  you to the excitement of One Burrard Place.

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Published on 9 Jul 2015

June 2015 was the second highest selling month on record for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Watch this month's video for more housing market statistics.

 

 

Last month was the highest selling June, and the second highest overall monthly total, on record for the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

The REBGV reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver* reached 4,375 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in June 2015. This represents a 28.4 per cent increase compared to the 3,406 sales recorded in June 2014, and an increase of 7.9 per cent compared to the 4,056 sales in May 2015.

Last month’s sales were 29.1 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month. It’s the fourth straight month with over 4,000 sales, which is a first in the REBGV’s history. The previous highest number of residential home sales was 4,434, recorded in May 2005.

“Demand in our detached home market continues to drive activity across Metro Vancouver,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “There were more detached home sales in the region last month than we’ve seen during the month of June in more than 10 years.”

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $694,000. This represents a 10.3 per cent increase compared to June 2014.

“Housing market activity comes in cycles; we're in an up cycle right now that looks similar to the mid-2000s,” McLeod said. “It would be easy to point to one factor that's causing this cycle, but the truth is that it's a number of different factors.

"Conditions today are being driven by low interest rates, a declining supply of detached homes, a growing population, a provincial economy that's outperforming the rest of Canada, pent-up demand from previous years and, perhaps most importantly, the fact that we live in a highly desirable region," McLeod said.

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 5,803 in June. This represents an 8.7 per cent increase compared to the 5,339 new listings reported in June 2014.

"We’re seeing a steady stream of new listings entering the market, but the overall number of homes for sale is not keeping up with buyer demand," McLeod said.

The total number of properties currently listed for sale on the region’s MLS® is 12,181, a 23.9 per cent decline compared to June 2014 and a 1.3 per cent decline compared to May 2015. This is the lowest active listing total for June since 2006.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in June was 35.9 per cent. This is the highest that this ratio has been in Metro Vancouver since June 2006. A seller’s market typically occurs when this ratio exceeds 20 per cent for a sustained period of time.

“The competition in today’s market means that buyers have less time to make decisions,” McLeod said. “Given this, it’s important to work with your REALTOR® to gain insight into the local market, to get quick access to new MLS® listings, to develop a buying strategy that meets your needs and risk appetite, and to receive other services and protections that come from having professional representation.”

Sales of detached properties in June 2015 reached 1,920, an increase of 31.3 per cent from the 1,462 detached sales recorded in June 2014, and a 74.2 per cent increase from the 1,102 units sold in June 2013. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 14.8 per cent from June 2014 to $1,123,900.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,774 in June 2015, an increase of 35.6 per cent compared to the 1,308 sales in June 2014, and an increase of 66.1 per cent compared to the 1,068 sales in June 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased 5.3 per cent from June 2014 to $400,200.

Attached property sales in June 2015 totalled 681, an increase of 7.1 per cent compared to the 636 sales in June 2014, and a 44.3 per cent increase from the 472 attached properties sold in June 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 7.1 per cent between June 2014 and 2015 to $506,900.

Download the June 2015 stats package by clicking here.

 

 

 

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.