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There are a lot of "how-to" articles online that regurgitate the same advice about real estate related topics such as getting a good mortgage or prepping your home for the market. While those things are obviously very important, in this blog we try to write articles that are enlightening and valuable for visitors to our site. Rather than write about the same-old, same-old, we endeavour to create interesting and compelling articles specifically for people interested in (BC) waterfront real estate.

Increased Interest from UK, German Buyers in 2008

Towards the end of last year, I received a couple of phone calls from large property websites in the UK looking to add some Canadian properties to their offerings. Apparently, feedback from their site visitors indicated that they wanted to see more properties in Canada. When looking at our site stats, I have also noticed an increase in visitors from the UK and well as Germany recently.

From Jan 30, 2007 until today, the percent of UK visitors to our site was 3.3 and Germans made up 1.7%. If we look at the stats for January of this month; however, UK visitors are have increased to 4.6% of our visitors and Germans to 2.9%.

Freddy Marks, our member real estate agent who works in the Cariboo, reports that many of his buyers are from Europe. In fact, he estimates that 35% of his business comes from Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. We have also received direct inquiries recently from UK buyers asking about specific properties for sale on the site.

Anecdotally, my mom has a rental property and her last two tenants have been from overseas: a family from Scotland who recently immigrated here and a couple from England who have moved here to teach skiing. It only took a quick Google search to find this recent article in the Independent promoting the virtues purchasing of Canadian resort property.

A recent survey of British and Irish property buyers done by business research firm Datamonitor showed an expected annual growth rate of 13% for the overseas property industry. While Spain, France and the US were the top three countries of interest for these buyers, Canada was amongst the most popular locations. Moreover, the study showed that most of these buyers were paying cash and buying for lifestyle.

Why Canada? Our high standard of living, natural beauty, the strength of the real estate market and rising values over the last few years, as well as the favourable exchange rate make it appealing as an investment and lifestyle choice for international buyers.

While we are still seeing a tremendous amount of interest from Alberta and the Lower Mainland on the site, we will be keeping an eye on the stats to see if this international interest continues to increase.

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