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Foreign buyers may soon be looking closely at Calgary real estate

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. Certainly, it is often shown to be true that what's unwanted by one is coveted by another, and real estate is no exception. While foreign buyers are taking some of the blame for the inflated markets in other cities, some industry insiders believe they are exactly what Calgary needs right now.

In both Vancouver and Toronto, the housing markets were deemed to be dangerously bloated and difficult to penetrate for all but the wealthiest buyers. In an effort to partially deflate the situation, each city implemented a 15 percent tax on non-resident buyers, believing that foreign investors bore a good portion of the blame. While non-Canadian buyers may be unpopular in those cities, in Calgary, their money would be welcome relief in a sagging market.

Though Calgary and Edmonton do not have the same international recognition as some of Canada's other big cities, more potential buyers are starting to look at Alberta markets. A website aimed at Chinese property investors saw 50 percent more hits for Edmonton in the last quarter than in the same quarter in 2016. Direct flights to Calgary from Beijing are seen as an enticing bonus for would-be homeowners, as is the extra value to be found in local real estate when compared to what's available in other markets.

Many would welcome an influx of capital into the housing markets in Calgary and Edmonton. However, selling real estate to a foreign buyer may not be a straightforward matter. Complicated transactions such as these may benefit from the skills and scrutiny of an experienced local lawyer.

Source: moneysense.ca, "Is Calgary the next property hot spot for foreign buyers?", Joe Castaldo, May 10, 2017

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