Non-Resident ownership of condo apartments remains low and stable: CMHC

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OTTAWA, December 19, 2017 — The share of condominium apartments owned by non-residents remains low in the 17 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) surveyed, with the majority reporting shares of less than 1%. Non-resident ownership shares remained stable in Vancouver and Toronto, while Montreal saw an increase. Results are from Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) Housing Market Insight — Canada released today.

 
Transcript

Foreground: Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, CMHC

Background: Library setting, library shelving

Bob Dugan: “The share of condominium apartment owned by non-residents remained low and stable in Canada. The stability in the share of non-resident owned condos in Toronto and Vancouver, combined with the increase in Montréal, after the introduction of foreign buyers’ taxes in Ontario and British Columbia may indicate a shift in demand by non-resident buyers. Other factors attracting demand to Montréal include lower housing prices and a relatively strong economy. It should be noted that foreign ownership is just one of the factors influencing Canada’s housing markets. Other important factors include housing and land supply constraints as well as the economic and demographic fundamentals that drive housing demand.”

 

2017 report highlights

  • Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal, Halifax, Victoria and Gatineau have non-resident ownership shares above 1% of the condominium apartment stock.
  • Montréal saw an increase in the share of non-resident ownership of condominium apartments, rising from 1.1% in 2016 to 1.7% in 2017.
  • Downtown Montréal and Nun’s Island reported the largest increase in the share of non-resident owners, from 4.3% in 2016 to 7.6% in 2017, followed by Montréal Island (from 1.7% to 2.7%) and West of Island Montréal (from 0.9% to 1.5%).
  • In Toronto, the largest structures registered a non-resident ownership share of 4.2% compared to the overall share of 2.5%, Vancouver registered a share of 3.3% in the largest structures versus the overall share of 2.2%, while the CMA of Montréal registered a largest-structures share of 3.7% vs the overall share of 1.7%.
Share of Condominium Apartments owned by Non-Residents, 2014-2017
Centre Sub-area Share Owned by Non-Residents (%)
2014 2015 2016 2017
Calgary CMA 0.2 a 1.1 a 0.9 a 0.9 a
Edmonton CMA 0.1 a 0.5 a 0.3 a 0.3 a
Halifax CMA --   --   1.2 a 1.2 a
Hamilton CMA --   **   0.5 a 0.3 a
Kelowna CMA --   0.2 a 0.3 a 0.6 a
Kitchener CMA --   0.2 a 0.4 a 0.7 a
London CMA --   2.2 c 0.8 a 0.4 a
Montréal Downtown and Nun's Island 6.9 c 4.9 c 4.3 c 7.6 c
Péricentre 1.2 a 1.4 a 1.5 b 1.8 a
West of Island of Montréal 1.3 a 0.9 a 0.9 a 1.5 b
East of Island of Montréal 0.8 a 0.4 a 0.4 a 0.6 a
Montréal Island 2.3 a 1.7 a 1.7 a 2.7 a
Remainder of CMA 0.4 a 0.7 a 0.4 a 0.4 a
Montréal CMA 1.5 a 1.3 a 1.1 a 1.7 a
Gatineau CMA -   0.3 a 0.6 a 1.1 a
Ottawa CMA 0.7 a 1.0 a 0.6 a 0.7 a
Quebec CMA 0.6 a 0.6 a 0.5 a 0.5 a
Regina CMA 0.1 a 0.0 a 0.2 a 0.0 b
Saskatoon CMA 0.3 a 0.5 a 0.2 a 0.4 a
Toronto Centre 4.3 c 5.8 b 3.5 b 3.8 b
West 1.1 a 1.5 a 1.5 b 1.8 b
East 1.2 a 1.1 a 1.3 a 1.2 a
North 1.5 a 2.6 c 2.0 a 2.9 b
Toronto City 2.7 a 3.8 b 2.6 a 3.0 a
Remainder of GTA 1.1 a 1.6 a 1.4 a 1.1 a
Toronto GTA 2.3 a 3.2 b 2.3 a 2.5 a
Toronto CMA 2.4 a 3.3 b 2.3 a 2.5 a
Vancouver Burrard Peninsula 5.8 d **   5.0 d 5.5 d
Vancouver Westside 1.5 b **   2.0 c 1.8 c
Vancouver Eastside 0.8 a 1.0 a 0.5 a 0.5 a
Vancouver City 3.4 d 5.4 d 3.0 b 3.2 c
Suburban Vancouver 2.3 c 3.4 d 2.3 c 2.0 c
Remainder of CMA 0.6 a 0.9 a 1.0 a 1.2 a
Vancouver CMA 2.3 b 3.5 c 2.2 b 2.2 b
Victoria CMA 1.1 a 1.0 a 0.9 a 1.1 a
Winnipeg CMA 0.1 b 2.7 c 0.3 a 0.5 b

The following letter codes are used to indicate the reliability of the estimates:
a - Excellent, b - Very good, c - Good, d - Fair (Use with Caution)
** Data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data not statistically reliable.

CMHC and Statistics Canada partnership

CMHC and Statistics Canada have combined efforts to improve housing-related data in Canada. One example of this partnership is the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), which provides a coherent and consistent structure to measure the ownership, property and financing characteristics of the residential real estate sector in Canada.

In order to address the data gap on foreign ownership in Canadian residential real estate, CMHC began collecting information in 2014 on the non-resident share of ownership in condominiums via its Condominium Apartment Survey. CMHC has produced estimates for selected major centres, including Vancouver and Toronto. In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada provided funding to Statistics Canada to improve housing data through the CHSP. These efforts have resulted in Statistics Canada publishing its first estimates from the CHSP focusing on non-resident ownership for Vancouver and Toronto.

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 share of condominium apartment owned by non-residents remained low and stable in Canada. The lack of growth in Toronto and Vancouver, combined with the increases in Montréal, indicate the possibility of a shift from these centres after the introduction of foreign buyers’ taxes in Ontario and British Columbia. Other factors attracting demand to Montréal include lower housing prices and a relatively strong economy. It should be noted that foreign ownership is just one of the factors influencing Canada’s housing markets. Other important factors include housing and land supply constraints as well as the economic and demographic fundamentals that drive housing demand.”

— Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Information on this release:

Angelina Ritacco
CMHC Media Relations
416-218-3320
aritacco@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional data is available upon request.

 

CMHC media content available for this news release:

  • Bob Dugan Video Clip — English (14.607 MB)
  • Bob Dugan Headshot (4.096 MB)

Download this Media Package (ZIP — 18.2 MB)

Backgrounder

Definition of “Foreign ownership”

CMHC and Statistics Canada both define a non-resident homeowner (often referred to as a “foreign homeowner”) as an individual whose principal residence is outside of Canada. “Foreign ownership,” in this case, technically refers to the non-Canadian residency of the legal owner of the property, irrespective of the owner’s nationality. It should be noted that this definition would classify Canadian citizens whose primary residence is outside of Canada as “non-resident.”

Methodological Differences

The key methodological differences between the CMHC and Statistics Canada approaches for measuring non-resident ownership of condominiums are:

  CMHC Statistics Canada
Source data
  • Telephone interviews with property management companies, condo boards or building superintendent
  • Site visits if telephone contact is not made
  • Tax data
  • Business Register data
  • Census, land titles and property assessment data
Ownership scope
  • Individuals
  • Individuals
  • Corporations
Dwelling type scope
  • Apartment condominiums only
  • Apartment condominiums
  • Other housing types including non-apartment condominiums, single-detached homes, semi-detached homes, row houses and vacant land

Statistics Canada’s approach is more comprehensive than CMHC’s in gathering data on non-resident ownership in Canadian housing markets. In the future, Statistics Canada will continue to extend its coverage to other centres in consultation and collaboration with CMHC and others, eventually replacing CMHC’s collection of non-resident ownership data.

In the interim, there are differences in the estimates for the share of non-resident condominium apartment ownership in Toronto and Vancouver in 2017 between CMHC and Statistics Canada. The explanation of the differences lies in the different data sources and methodology used by CMHC and Statistics Canada. As a result, point-estimates for the 2017 share of non-resident ownership of condominium apartments in the CMAs of Toronto and Vancouver (and their sub-areas) should be taken from Statistics Canada’s results, reflecting Statistics Canada’s more comprehensive methodology. However, CMHC’s time series of estimates for Toronto and Vancouver should be relied upon for insight into the general trends in non-resident ownership since 2014 and for comparison between cities.

Data for the Montréal area from the Government of Québec’s Land Registry

This report also presents data from the Government of Québec’s Land Registry on non-resident home purchases in Montréal that complements the data from CMHC’s Condominium Apartment Survey. The data presented from the Land Registry includes the change in the number of non-resident buyers in the Montréal area since January 2017 as well as detailed information on home purchase prices in the Montréal area over the same period.

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