This Housing Market Insight presents CMHC’s household projections for 8 of Canada’s major urban centres until 2042. These centres were chosen for their demographic weight and regional features. We used custom data from Statistics Canada to produce these new household projections.
Between now and 2042, Canada’s main urban centres will add between 1.7 and 3.1 million new households.
This analysis found that the total number of households in all 8 census metropolitan areas will grow over the next 2 decades. This is regardless of the population growth scenario used. As expected, the growth rates vary by geography and by the underlying growth assumption.
We project urban centres in Western Canada to grow slightly faster than those in the East.
Each centre shows unique growth features that must be considered individually. Some of the regional highlights include that:
- the Prairies have the strongest growth and this is projected to be among younger households
- Atlantic Canada shows significant growth in senior-led households
- Toronto and Vancouver show growth in both younger and older households
- Montréal’s proportion of households in each age cohort is projected to remain relatively stable.
It is noteworthy that all urban centres are projected to experience an increase in the number of older households.
Migration is the most important factor that will influence the size and range of these projections. All census metropolitan areas are impacted by 3 migratory phenomena:
- international migration
- interprovincial migration
- interregional migration
It is also important to understand:
- the age structure characteristics of the projections for each urban centre
- the distribution of households per age of maintainer according to medium growth scenario
To show the evolution of these distributions, results for 2022, 2032 and 2042 are presented.
The distributions of projected households by the age of the maintainer show a high degree of variability among the 8 centres. There are differences in the shape of the distribution and how it is projected to change:
- in Montréal, the 35 to 60 age group currently dominates. As of 2032, this group shifts to the older age groups
- Toronto shows an equally high number of maintainers whose ages go from 30 to 65 years. By 2032, the 30 to 60 group will see a significant increase
- currently, Vancouver’s projection is like Toronto
The report emphasizes the “assumption dependent” nature of demographic projections and the necessity of understanding the disaggregated results.
While household are not designed to make direct and precise assessments on housing market issues, they are a necessary first step in their further investigation.
CMHC is conducting extensive analyses on the current state of Canada’s housing supply. We’re also working to identify gaps and better understand barriers to increasing and preserving existing supply.
CMHC is conducting extensive analysis on the current state of housing supply as well as working to identify gaps and better understand barriers to increasing and preserving existing supply:
- We will be publishing a series of reports over the next few years to better understand housing supply in Canada. This will help to deepen our understanding of housing supply challenges in Canada. This will also inform better policies and better decision-making.
- This summer, we will publish a report that looks at the gap in housing supply relative to the housing system’s overall affordability.
- This report, among others, will be a critical tool in providing data and analysis to inform future decisions towards improving housing affordability.