CMHC Releases the 2014 Canadian Housing Observer — Its Twelfth Annual Review on the State of Housing in Canada

OTTAWA, November 20, 2014 — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today released the 2014 Canadian Housing Observer, its detailed annual review on the state of housing in Canada.

The analysis contained in the Observer, combined with its detailed online data resources, offers unique insights into key housing trends and issues, including those that influence housing finance and housing markets in Canada.

Among the highlights in the 2014 Observer:

  • Seniors, immigrants and Aboriginal people continue to be important influences on housing demand. Household growth between 2006 and 2011 was strongest among the 60-64 age group, the leading edge of the baby boom;
  • Although the majority of immigrants arriving between 2006 and 2011 continued to settle in Canada’s largest metropolitan areas (33% in Toronto, 16% in Montreal, and 13% in Vancouver), increasing percentages are settling in smaller cities and communities. While most newcomers initially rent their homes, homeownership rates among immigrant households rise quickly in the years following their arrival.
  • Housing starts moderated 12.5% in 2013, allowing the ratio of completed and unabsorbed units relative to population, a simple gauge of overbuilding, to trend down over the year;
  • Canadians’ ability to service their mortgage debts improved. The ratio of annual mortgage debt-service costs to annual personal disposable income stood at 3.66%, a slight decline from 3.70% in 2012, and below the average of 4.1% since 2000;
  • The incidence of core housing need in Canada fell to 12.5% in 2011, down from 13.7% in 2001.  Housing affordability remains the principal challenge, accounting on its own for just under three-quarters (73%) of all households in core housing need in 2011;
  • CMHC’s recently completed EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative showed that designing and constructing very-low-energy sustainable homes is readily achievable in Canada. With energy produced by renewable energy features factored in, two of the EQuilibrium™ homes achieved a remarkably low net annual energy consumption of under 2kWh/m2.

In addition to the feature article on recent trends in housing conditions and core housing need, the Observer chapters provide a detailed examination of demographic influences on housing demand, housing finance, housing markets, sustainable housing, as well as key developments in newcomers’ housing.

The Observer also enables readers to access a wide array of online statistical information on housing conditions from national, regional and local perspectives.

The online publication and data are available at www.cmhc.ca/observer.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on 67 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

November 22nd is National Housing Day — celebrate with CMHC. Through partnerships at every level, we are helping Canadians meet their housing needs.

For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

Backgrounder attached.

Media inquiries:

Kate Munroe
Media Relations Officer, CMHC
613-748-4618
kmunroe@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

 @CMHC_ca

Backgrounder

Selected Housing Indicators, Canadian Municipalities, 2011
  % of house-holds that own their homes % of home owners with mortgages % of home owners under 35
Condominiums % of housing stock built in 1960 or earlier % of housing stock built after  2000 % of
households in core housing need1
share of owner house-holds (%) share of renter house-holds (%)
Canada 69.0 58.5 12.1 12.6 11.3 24.6 15.6 12.5
Municipalities              
St. John's 61.9 60.0 13.2 5.0 3.8 25.3 16.0 14.7
Charlottetown 52.0 59.2 10.8 1.6 5.4 25.0 15.3 13.0
Halifax 62.8 63.6 11.4 6.9 4.0 22.4 15.6 13.0
Moncton 60.2 65.0 16.5 3.1 7.1 27.0 20.1 12.1
Saint John 57.4 58.6 12.0 4.8 4.0 43.4 8.5 14.7
Gatineau 64.3 68.0 16.9 9.6 12.2 15.9 19.7 10.2
Laval 69.3 63.1 10.5 12.2 12.6 15.8 15.6 9.7
Montréal 35.8 58.0 12.3 30.1 7.6 42.8 7.5 18.6
Québec 52.9 59.6 13.3 19.1 8.9 25.2 12.5 10.0
Hamilton 68.4 58.6 10.4 11.9 5.2 38.4 9.9 13.4
London 62.9 60.0 13.3 17.5 10.0 26.5 12.6 13.7
Ottawa 67.3 60.3 11.8 16.9 10.5 19.7 17.0 11.2
Toronto 54.6 55.8 11.5 30.6 12.7 36.0 12.0 21.0
Winnipeg 66.1 60.1 13.8 9.2 4.9 37.3 7.8 10.8
Regina 69.2 58.1 17.6 11.9 11.2 26.4 10.7 12.5
Calgary 72.4 64.6 17.1 19.5 24.8 11.7 24.4 10.5
Edmonton 64.9 60.5 18.0 22.2 23.2 17.8 21.3 13.1
Vancouver 48.5 52.3 12.5 41.2 24.6 27.8 15.7 20.4
Victoria 40.7 56.6 14.6 47.2 13.2 35.2 8.3 21.2
Whitehorse 68.7 65.4 12.7 10.9 10.8 12.5 18.0 10.2
Yellowknife 52.2 75.7 19.2 14.1 5.3 3.8 15.9 10.1
Iqaluit 23.4 82.0 24.3 8.1 1.1 2.1 30.4 22.9

1 Core housing need refers to households that 1) live in unacceptable housing, and 2) have insufficient income to access alternative acceptable housing within their community. “Unacceptable” housing is housing that is either not affordable, not suitable (i.e. is crowded), or not adequate (i.e. is in need of major repair).

Source: CMHC, adapted from Statistics Canada (National Household Survey), and CMHC (NHS-based housing indicators and data).

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