British Columbia

China stock market crisis could lead to more real estate investment in B.C.

An expert in Sino-Canadian economic relations says the current stock market crash in China will drive more investments into Canada, including B.C.'s red-hot real estate market.

Expert says Chinese investors are looking for a safe place to invest

China's stock market has plunged in recent weeks. Canada is an eye-catching opportunity for many Chinese investors, one expert says. (Aly Song/Reuters)

An expert in Sino-Canadian economic relations says the current stock market crash in China will drive more investments into Canada, including B.C.'s red-hot real estate market.

China's main market index has declined by more than 30 per cent since early June.

"The Chinese are actually facing a very difficult situation because they don't have the national institutions we have in terms of pensions and employment insurance and health insurance," said David Fung, vice-chair of Canada China Business Council. 

Fung says the Chinese save up to 40 per cent of their disposable income to make up for that shortfall, but savings rates in China are below inflation and only guarantee a loss of income over time.

David Fung, vice-chair of the Canada China Business Council, says Chinese investors present an opportunity for Canada. (CBC)

Investing in real estate

"They're not looking necessarily for a very high return because it is for their own insurance," said Fung. 

That has made Canada an eye-catching opportunity for many Chinese investors, according to Fung, especially as it is one of the key Chinese currency exchange hubs. 

"In the case of Vancouver, of course we have housing investment," said Fung.

But Fung doesn't think the influx of investors should cause alarm. Instead, he thinks they present an opportunity.

"I think our governments and institutions should gear up to manage that," said Fung. 

"If we do need affordable housing, perhaps we should establish vehicles where the Chinese can invest into affordable housing."

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