Over Half of BC Immigrants Purchase Home in their First 5 Years

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By Emma Co

Last weekend I had a chance to spend some time and have dinner with a school mate visiting for the first time here in Vancouver from the Philippines.

Besides the beautiful city, amazing views, Stanley Park, Granville Island the clean air and water that we are blessed with, she was quite surprised with the number of Filipinos living in our city. She asked me “Emma, why is it that many of our kababayans that I meet seem so busy. They would have full time job, with a part time job on the side. It’s actually quite exhausting listening to their daily routine”.   

I told her that is the Asian immigrant work ethic. Parents are willing to make sacrifices for the future of their children, and others being given a chance to earn a good living.

A few years back, I knew of a couple with their boy wanting to rent a whole house. I initially questioned how they can afford it, and why rent such a big place. Both parents worked a number of jobs, took courses to enhance their skills and for additional income, hosted several home stay students. Yet with all their sacrifice, creativity and team work they made it work.   They are now proud homeowners running a franchise business.

I recently found an article from BC Business by Felicity Stone:

In the article it explains how an ongoing research by UBC professor Daniel Hiebert based on national household survey data shows, 53 per cent of landed immigrants who arrived between 2006 and 2011 became homeowners in that period.

Chinese immigrants at 73 per cent registered the highest rate of home ownership, followed by 52 per cent of South Asians, 51 per cent of South Koreans, and 44 per cent of White and Filipino immigrants.

Hiebert told BCBusiness “Most of the stories that appear in the press on immigrants are about the difficulties they’re having getting economically integrated into Canada, and yet their rapid acquisition of home ownership suggests that there’s a piece of the puzzle we’ve been missing.  Maybe things aren’t quite so easy in the labour market, but at the same time they are managing to buy houses pretty quickly so there are more things going on.”

Though the study did not include the property values, there were about 100,000 homes purchased in Metro Vancouver covered by the study.

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