Montreal was the hot Canadian real estate market for Chinese nationals last year as interest slipped in Toronto and Vancouver following the introduction of foreign buyers taxes, says a report from a website for buyers of overseas properties.
Juwai.com said Chinese buyers inquired about US$1.45 billion worth of Canadian properties in 2017.
Interest in Montreal grew by 84.5 per cent in 2017 and 43.3 per cent a year earlier.
Consideration of properties in Canada's largest city dropped by 25 per cent in 2017 after nearly doubling between 2015 and 2016.
Vancouver inquiries fell 18 per cent last year after growing by 9.3 per cent the previous year.
Metro Vancouver has had a 15 per cent tax on foreign home purchasers since 2016. The new provincial government hiked the levy to 20 per cent and imposed it in the Victoria and Nanaimo areas, as well as the Fraser Valley and central Okanagan.
A 15 per cent tax was imposed in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area — stretching from the Niagara Region to Peterborough — on buyers who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations. In the first month after the tax was imposed in late April, foreign buyers made up 4.7 per cent of home sales in the region, according to Statistics Canada.
A separate report says no additional foreign buyers taxes are expected to be imposed in Canada and Australia this year, and New Zealand is the only major investment destination considering one this year.