Toronto housing market Real Estate

Will Chinese Buyer buy your home?

Saturday Oct 12th, 2019

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When selling a house in the York region (North GTA, including Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan), the probability that the purchaser will be a new immigrant family will be high. According to a recent census by the York region, 51,410 new immigrants moved into the region between 2011 and 2016, and around 40% of them are Chinese.

(Ref: https://www.york.ca/wps/wcm/connect/yorkpublic/d9718dce-0c1d-418c-9309-3d887c8fdfb5/17-7372+2016+Census+Release-Immigration_20171107_1119.pdf?MOD=AJPERES)

Most Chinese move to the York region because the community is safe, living there is convenient, and there are many excellent schools there. Many houses in the York region have good design, functional layout, decent condition, and nice interlocking. But there are still many that have been on the market for a long time and have not sold. So what happened? Here we will go through some significant considerations from the Chinese perspective.

  1. A house is on end of the T intersection, facing the incoming traffic.

Houses in these locations are generally the NO list for Chinese buyers. They feel that living in these houses would not be safe. The lights of the passing traffic will flash into the windows at night, and the invisible force may be too strong for the homeowners to handle. It is a kind of superstition rooted in many Chinese minds.

 

  1. Number 4

Some cultures do not like the number 13. Many members of the Chinese culture do not like the number 4, because four has the same pronunciation as cease to exist in the Chinese language. A number ending with four may also not be a good number.  For example, 14 sounds like going to cease to exist, and 54 sounds like I am going to cease to exist. If you take the elevator in some condos in Toronto, you may notice that many do not have floors numbered with numbers that contain the number 4. Given the complexity of the Chinese language, some numbers can also be very auspicious. For example, the number 8 means getting rich. If a house has the number 84, congratulations - this is a lucky number for some Chinese businesspeople as it means being extremely rich!

  1. Close to major roads or railway or power lines.

 

Noise is a big issue if a house is close to a major road or railway. Buyers will also worry about pollution and dust due to the high volume of traffic. Some people living near railways often complain that their houses shake when trains pass by. Another problem comes from high voltage power lines. Many buyers ask what will be a safe distance for living near power lines. That figure is difficult to determine without a professional inspection.

  1. Backyard facing

Which direction will be best for the backyard to face is a constant debate. Many new immigrants from China prefer a backyard to face south. China is in the north of the Northern Tropic. The sun rises in the east, travels through the south, and sets in the west. If the backyard faces south, it and the rooms will avoid direct sunlight in the hottest summer and fence out the cold northwesterly wind in the winter. In Canada, if the backyard faces north, the rooms will be darker and less attractive to Chinese buyers without ample window coverage and proper illumination. 

It will be straightforward to find out the above-mentioned physical aspects of the house on a Google map. Many buyers will only visit a house that satisfies their criteria. We’re not saying that a house with the above-mentioned features cannot sell quickly. Developing the right marketing strategy is always a critical first step to ensure that you sell a home fast at the right price.

A Chinese family will take many factors into consideration when buying a house. We will review some other essential factors next time.

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