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Chinese visitors are arriving in B.C. just in time to ring in the Year of the Snake – and Vancouver condo developers are getting a boost because of it.

Many developers know that catering to offshore buyers during Chinese New Year is crucial for sales.

“We know that the sales activity in and around the Chinese New Year is really very good, so we decided to reopen after Christmas and stay open for about eight weeks,” said Madonna McLafferty, sales manager for Evergreen condos in Coquitlam.

McLafferty said Bosa, the condo developer, didn’t sell as many homes last year around this time, “but based on how we’re seeing things come together for this year I think we’ll see a better year for real estate sales.”

Chris Lee, who moved to Vancouver from China two years ago, said she and her sister are looking to buy a hip downtown condo, and now that their parents are in town for two weeks celebrating Chinese New Year, they have financial help.

“If we like this place we have to tell them and they make the decision,” Lee said. “Usually Chinese people like to buy during this time.”

Condo developers embraced the influx of offshore buyers, with some companies bringing in additional Chinese-speaking staff to help sell units.

“The sales team is well diversified,” said Nic Jenson, a condo marketer for Cressey Developments’ Maddox building.

“There's family and friends that come through, they show their moms, they show their brothers, their sisters, their friends, and now that the decision makers are in town we expect sales to start going through in the next couple of weeks,” Jenson said.

But potential Vancouver should put aside fears that affluent offshore buyers will snap up a large share of the condo market, driving up price, he said.

“Don’t kid yourself. These people do live here, they’ve got family here, they’ve got children here,” Jenson said. “Whether they choose to live here now or use it as a rental…it’s an extremely attractive investment for everyone.”

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson