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Chinese New Year and Vancouver Real Estate

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Fung, a Mortgage Specialist with Vancity who was kind enough to discuss Chinese New Year with me and its impact on Vancouver’s real estate market.

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is the most important Holiday of the year for Chinese people as well as for many Chinese-Canadians here in Vancouver. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends and reflect on the previous year, and there is a heavy emphasis on making the upcoming year a good/prosperous year in terms of wealth.

How does Chinese New Year affect the Vancouver Real Estate Market?

During Chinese New Year, many celebrants will be looking to acquire new wealth (buy real estate) and upgrade their investment holdings (sell real estate). Chinese New Year is seen as a time of good fortune and investments or sales made during this time are believed to benefit from this.

The traditional busy time in the Vancouver property market in Spring followed in ascending order of business by Autumn, Summer, and Winter.

With the increased activity in the Vancouver housing market due to Chinese New Year late Winter/Early Spring based on 2011’s numbers, almost as busy as the traditional Spring market.

Historically January and February are slow months for the Vancouver real estate market, but in January and February of 2011 sales were significantly higher than the 10-year average. As the article mentions, many people from Mainland China and elsewhere used the time over Chinese New Year to visit Vancouver and buy property.

According to media reports the Chinese economy and real estate market that is not as hot as in early 2011, so Chinese New Year 2012, The Year of the Dragon may not be as busy as 2011, but sales activity in the Vancouver real estate market could very well be again above the 10-year average.

That said, Economist Tsur Sommerville had this to say about what could happen for Chinese New Year 2012:

“There’s a sense in China that the property market there is slowing down, so that can play out here in terms of people who are looking to perhaps invest someplace else that’s more attractive.”

Mr. Somerville added these property buyers are primarily wealthy immigrants with enough money in the bank to pay for properties immediately.

“They’re not going to be able to get a loan here for it and they can’t get a loan at home for it.”

Will Chinese New Year Continue to by a Busy Season in the Vancouver Housing Market and Will House Prices Increase?

This is a very difficult thing to predict and as you may have noticed, I am not one to make predictions on Vancouver’s housing market.

That said, I am very interested to hear YOUR OPINION in the form of comment down below.

Happy Lunar/Chinese New Year and Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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