OTTAWA, April 7, 2016 — The topic of foreign ownership in Canada’s housing markets continues to gain in importance and attention. In line with its commitment to sharing insightful information as it becomes available, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released today its latest Housing Market Insights (HMI) report on this topic.

The report looks at the share of foreign ownership by the age of structure and is meant to be read in tandem with CMHC’s fall 2015 HMI report on Foreign Ownership. Findings reveal that share of foreign ownership is most prominent in new condominium apartment structures in Toronto and to a lesser extent in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). The share of foreign ownership is most prominent in the newer structures in Toronto Centre.

Report Highlights

  • In the Toronto CMA, the share of foreign ownership is less than 2% for buildings completed before 1990 and 7% for newer constructions completed since 2010. This effect is even more pronounced in Toronto Centre where about 10% of the newer stock is owned by foreigners.
  • In the Vancouver CMA, foreign buyers’ share rises from less than 2% for properties built before 1990 to about 6% for those completed since 2010.

The complete HMI supplemental report is available here.

At this time, no existing tool can provide a definitive measure of the level of foreign investment in Canada’s housing markets. That said, CMHC regularly engages in discussions internally, as well as with industry experts, as part of its continued efforts to develop a program of work that would better capture data on foreign buyers.

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As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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“The really interesting thing about this report is the insight it provides into foreign ownership of condominiums in Canada by age of structure. For example, in the downtown core of Toronto, we know that, in buildings completed since 2010, about 10 per cent of those units are owned by foreign buyers. This compares to about 2.3 percent for units completed during the 1990s. This represented another piece in the puzzle of foreign investment in Canada. It remains a top priority for CMHC to continue to get more information on foreign investment in Canada’s Housing market.”
— Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Latest CMHC Report Brings Foreign Ownership Into Sharper Focus

(Foreground: Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Background: Library, Library shelving)

Bob Dugan: An interesting part of this report are the results that we find on foreign investment in the condo market for different ages of structures. For example, in Toronto, for units built since 2010, we find that about ten percent of the units are owned by foreign investors.

Information on this release:
Jonathan Rotondo, Media Relations

CMHC Media Content

  • Video Clip - English (3.7MB)
  • Video Clip - French (4.4MB)
  • Bob Dugan Headshot (57KB)
Date Published: April 7, 2016