In an effort to better understand high and rising home prices in British Columbia generally, and in Metro Vancouver more specifically, the BC Government has just released residential property transaction data collected between 10-29 June 2016. Of particular interest is what the data say about the prevalence of foreign buyers in residential property transactions. (As of 10 June, all purchasers of residential property in the province must disclose their citizenship or country of residence if they are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.)

Perhaps surprisingly to some--but not so much to others--the data reveal a relatively low prevalence of foreign buyers. Of the 10,148 total residential sales in the province during the three-week period, only 337, or 3.3%, were to foreign nationals. In BC, the proportion was higher, at 5.1%, with 260 of the 5,118 sales being to foreign nationals.

It follows then that the City of Vancouver would see an even greater prevalence, right? Wrong. In Vancouver, only 47 of the the 1,139 sales were to foreign nationals, representing a 4.1% share.

It's worth noting these data span only three weeks, so we will keep a keen eye out for additional data as it rolls out over the coming months.