There’s no question that international buyers are playing a major role in Toronto’s increasingly multicultural real estate market. A recent Top Tier Trends Report release by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada found that about 25 per cent of luxury home buyers in Toronto are from outside Canada.
That comes as no surprise to real estate broker Sam McDadi, owner of Sam McDadi Real Estate Inc. in Mississauga: “It’s an ever changing market and we’re seeing a lot of international players coming.”
Mr. Dadi says until recently, homes in Oakville and Mississauga were primarily bought by local people, but “in the last three to five years, we’ve seen a lot of transformation with buyers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Indian or Pakistan. We’ve modified our whole strategy to incorporate understanding these buyers.”
Mr. Dadi’s team now offers service in 20 different languages to cater to multicultural buyers.
The multicultural/foreign market will continue to be important to the GTA, says Mr. Dadi as 500,000 immigrants arrive in Canada each year and half of them come to the Toronto area.
“They have a lot of financial wealth and they are here to buy,” he says. “They only rent short-term. Canada has become a real popular place and it’s considered a safe haven. And when you compare our square foot costs to China for example, it’s a real bargain.”
One of Mr. Dadi’s clients from the Middle East rented for a year, then purchased a $ 3 million home in Mississauga. “The nice thing with international buyers is that financing is not an issue. Many are cash buyers.
“Some want real luxury waterfront property, some are willing to spend $10 to $15 million on a home and make a quick decision. It depends on the amount of wealth they are bringing and a lot are guided by family and friends who have come here previously.”
Mr. Dadi had one client who bought a $7.5 million home and a short time later, sold it and bought a lakefront home for $11 million.
Families typically want single family homes and after they settle, many also buy a condo as an investment. Like many luxury buyers, they want big homes, “the larger the better,” and the right neighbourhood and the right school district.
“The ideal scenario for many of them is to buy in an established neighbourhood where there’s been a teardown and a new home built,” he notes. “They don’t want to go through the exercise of renovating, most want maturity of a neighbourhood and a nice lot and a custom-built home with all the features that are desirable today.”
The Internet has played a big role in bringing attention to the Canadian market he says: “It has made us so connected worldwide. People look at the virtual tours and have done their homework before they send an email or call. They know what they want and make quick decisions as they’ve done most of preliminary work upfront .”
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