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BC Recreational Property Attractive To Chinese Investors

Andree Lau , The Huffington Post B.C, Oct 7, 2012

B.C.’s recreational property market is starting to see Chinese investors buying waterfront cottages and resorts as prices continue to cool. 

The Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference held this week in Vancouver heard that offshore Chinese buyers are purchasing resort land to attract clientele straight from China. 

Graham Kwok, CEO of Character Capital Inc. and a former developer of ski resorts in China, says the Chinese interest in recreational property is partly due to status. 

"If you have a lifestyle, it means you’re successful. If you’re successful, that means you have free time,” Kwok told The Huffington Post B.C. “But if you’re working all the time and you have no lifestyle, then you’re not successful. Therefore purchasing lifestyle property is a symbol of your success and your status.” 

He said the new buyers come at a time when interest in vacation homes is waning from the Western market. 

Kwan said the resort real estate market was hot when baby boomers wanted second homes, but as that demographic ages and gets fickle with their leisure activities, there’s less demand. 

The RE/MAX Recreational Property Report 2012 found that lower prices are attracting renewed interest in waterfront properties and older cottages to be renovated, reported the Vancouver Sun. 

Local buyers in B.C. are benefitting from lower prices in Whistler and the Gulf Islands partly because there are fewer American and European buyers, said the newspaper. 

“For the first time, we're seeing Chinese money in oceanfront properties,” Rudy Nielsen, president of NIHO Land and Cattle Company, which specializes in recreational land purchases, development and sales, told the Sun. 

Canadian Business noted that Canadians looking for recreational homes may be parking their dollars across the border in Florida or Arizona instead, where properties are much cheaper.