New Canadian Citizenship Statistics from China: Real Estate Impact?

Blog by Arnold Shuchat | February 16th, 2014

The following information has been obtained from government sources believed to be reliable.  No representations are made in relation to the veracity thereof.


2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012-1st half
Canadian Citizenshp Applications
Submitted by Chinese Citizens
New Canadian Citizens 24,348 21,027 16,010 13,417 15,565 6,755
Refused Application 796 516 485 672 1,002 505
Refused because of language only or 439 236 227 329 545 240
Language plus other issues as well

What seems apparent with these numbers is that although there seemed to be quite a dropoff of citizenship applications from 2007 to 2009, there does not seems to be as radical a shift since 2010. One can do with these numbers what they want, but remember, that these are the numbers for all of Canada, not just Vancouver or B.C.  So, at this point, with all the discussions about Asian money and its impact on the Vancouver real estate market, based upon the available numbers as of mid 2012, in the worst case scenario, were the applications to go to zero, the impact would only be similar to that already sustained between 2007 and 2010; that is, another total reduction of 12,000 or so Chinese immigrants for all of the country.

In the last 12 months as of today's date there were 6,320 detached properties sold in the Lower Mainland and 16,679 attached properties sold for a combined total of 22,999 properties which changed hands.  I do not have the numbers of local immigration to the Lower Mainland and of those immigrants, how many purchased property in the last year of the 22, 999 sold.  But if an approximate full year of immigration of 13,510 obtained citizenship throughout the country from China in all of 2012, then only some fraction of that number is applicable locally. and if it was 25% I think that might be surprising.  In any event, that number does not mean that each of these folks was involved in a property purchase the year they arrived.  So when we start to sift through the numbers rationally, we might get a percentage of the market relating to property purchase immigration alot closer to between 4-5% of the market, not showing up, in the event of a complete removal of all Chinese citizenship applications from the proforma numbers for the coming year.  I do not believe that this is a scenario on the books. The only discussion I have heard has been in relation to the investor class of Visa.

I welcome anybody's thoughts on this topic to