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Canadians Think Foreign Buyers Are Driving Up Home Prices — But They’re Really Not

Canadians think foreign buyers are driving up home prices — but they’re really not

By Tara Deschamps for Financial Post

CMHC study also reveals 55% of homebuyers in Toronto and Vancouver were in bidding wars — and 48% spent over budget.

Foreign buyers might make up a small sliver of Canada’s biggest real estate markets, but homebuyers in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal still believe they are heavily influencing housing activity.

A study from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released Wednesday found that 68 per cent of Vancouver respondents, 48 per cent of Toronto respondents and 42 per cent of Montreal respondents believe foreign buyers are having “a lot of influence” on their markets and are driving up home prices.

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The insight into perceptions around foreign buyers that 30,000 respondents in the three cities shared with the Crown Corporation between September and mid-October is in stark contrast with recent data from Statistics Canada showing foreign buyers only own 4.8 per cent of Vancouver properties and 3.4 per cent of homes in Toronto.

“What is striking is the significant gap between perceptions of the public and available data, so much so that the perception of non-resident ownership takes centre stage when discussing the drivers of price growth,” said CMHC’s report.

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