Chinese investment in Vancouver commercial property from companies such as Anbang Insurance Group Co. has slumped amid a flood of regulations, with investors looking to Toronto instead.
Asian investments in Vancouver fell to almost $350 million in 2018, a drop from the $1 billion-plus that hit the market in each of the two prior years, according to data from CBRE Ltd. In contrast, Toronto took in $526 million of Asian investment last year, up slightly from 2017, including a $256 million purchase of an office building by Chinese private investor Tigra Vista Inc.
Chinese investors are retreating globally following government restrictions on capital outflows in 2016. In Vancouver, Asian investment dropped off even more last year due in part to a series of new taxes instituted by the government, including a speculation and wealth tax on homes. The province has also proposed a bill to expose hidden land owners -- both residential and commercial -- and failure to disclose may result in a fine of C$100,000 or 15 percent of the property’s assessed value, whichever is greater, is driving away some investors.
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