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September 22, 2017

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Chinese drive up Vancouver realty

VANCOUVER, Canada--Its quality of life is routinely ranked among the best in the world, but that's only one reason Vancouver real estate prices are red hot.

Wealthy Chinese anxious to raise their families in the West are bidding up the city's limited number of properties in fashionable West Vancouver, sending prices in the city soaring more than 50 percent in the past three years.

Last year, Canada issued 1,600 visas to Chinese investors looking to move to British Columbia.

Su Yi Bin, a trader by profession, is looking to buy a 450-square-meter (4,800-square-foot) house in the area for his family and ready to pay as much as US$4.5 million.

Su splits his time between Vancouver and Shanghai. While he's in China, he wants his family to be comfortable as they adapt to their new country.

"For my child, growing up and going to school here will allow him to integrate fully into the world, into an international lifestyle," he said.

"That's just not possible in China."

While prices in Vancouver have risen 54 percent in the past three years, they jumped 13 percent last year alone.

Vancouver real estate agent Clarence Debelle sees the Chinese influx in his business. In just five months, he has seen his Chinese clientele jump from two to 40 potential buyers.

"We do not have that many homes available for sale in West Vancouver, and the Chinese buyers are buying an awful lot of them. So I feel the prices will continue to rise," he said.

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