The top reason why foreign buyers from China want to get into the Canadian housing market is education, not investment, according to data from a popular global real estate listings website.
Figures released Tuesday by the Chinese website Juwai.com in partnership with Sotheby's International Realty Canada found that schooling was the primary motivation for potential Chinese homebuyers who viewed property listings in major Canadian cities in 2016.
It found that housing needed for educational purposes was the most cited reason why 46 per cent of Chinese users were looking at properties in Montreal, followed by 44 per cent in Vancouver, 41 per cent in Toronto and nine per cent in Calgary.
Investment was the top reason listed by a quarter of home seekers, with 27 per cent saying it was the main reason for their property searches in Vancouver and Toronto, 23 per cent in Montreal and 21 per cent in Calgary.
The data also indicated that the majority of Chinese property searches were for Canadian homes priced below $655,050.
"While home buyers from mainland China have been identified as a notable segment of foreign purchases within the luxury property markets of Vancouver and Toronto, Juwai.com data dispels the assumption that Chinese interest is limited to the high-end segment," said the report.