Nova Scotia beckons with real estate comprising entire islands for the purchase price of a Sai Ying Pun flat in Hong Kong

By Ryan Swift / | November 26, 2019 4:59 PM SGT
Tired of news about Hong Kong's protests, Donald Trump's presidency or persistent worries about a recession in 2020?
Consider an island property in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, where property is still cheap, foreign interest is growing and taxes on real estate are still favourable to non-residents.
While most people may think an island property is for the billionaire set only, Nova Scotia offers private islands larger than Hong Kong's Victoria Park for less than the purchase price of a 450 square foot flat in Sai Ying Pun in the Asian city's western district.
Nova Scotia, one of four provinces that make up Canada's Atlantic coastline, has been an economic backwater for years, despite a long colonial history and old connections to Europe. That has changed in recently, said Matthew Honsberger, president of Royal Le Page, Atlantic Canada, as immigration has increased and jobs and industry have returned.
Nova Scotia, though still sparsely populated with just under 1 million people living in 53,000 square kilometres, has also enjoyed its highest levels of immigration since 2000. After years of no growth, Nova Scotia's population grew 3.8 per cent between April 2015 and July 2019, from 936,271 to 971,395.
The city of Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. alt=The city of Halifax in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Property buyers from Germany and the US have bolstered the market for recreational properties in Nova Scotia, while wealthy Canadians from Toronto and Montreal have also come looking for quiet retirement or recreational properties.
"For the first time in my real estate career, we don't have enough inventory to meet demand," said Honsberger, who noted that there are no discouraging restrictions on foreign or non-resident buyers.
Property agents specialising in Atlantic Canada say that only recently has interest from Asian buyers started.
But while prices for island properties may be cheap in Nova Scotia, often these islands are undeveloped, meaning...