The presence of non-resident owners on Canada’s housing market is a subject that continues to generate a lot of interest. Our latest Housing Market Insight (HMI) takes a new look at non-resident ownership. Using data from Statistics Canada, we look at non-resident participation in British Columbia (B.C.), Ontario and Nova Scotia. We also examine the number of owners for each residential property in the 3 provinces.

We’re also releasing our most recent data from our Condominium Apartment Survey. Since 2014, we’ve used the Survey to assess the residency status of condominium apartment owners in major census metropolitan areas (CMAs). 

Data tables from the Condominium Apartment Survey 

What is non-resident participation?

A property is classified as having non-resident participation when at least 1 of its owners is a non-resident of Canada.

This means that “non-resident participation” is a broader measure than, “non-resident ownership.” The second term is used for a property only when the majority (or all) of its owners are non-residents.

To clarify, let’s take a property with 3 owners. Of the owners, let’s say 2 are residents of Canada and 1 is a non-resident. This property would have non-resident participation, but not non-resident ownership. 

Highlights on non-resident participation 

Here’s what we found out about non-resident participation in B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia: 

  • In the 3 provinces, 3.3% to 6.2% of properties have non-resident participation.
  • Non-resident ownership in B.C. and Ontario is more common in newer properties with higher median assessment values. 
  • In the same 2 provinces, looking at all property types, non-resident ownership and participation are highest in condominium apartments. 
  • In B.C., the percentage of condominium apartments that had non-resident participation was highest in Vancouver. In Ontario, it was highest in Toronto. 
  • Non-resident ownership in Ontario was highest in Kingston, Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara, all of which are near the United States border.

A look at the number of owners per property 

In B.C., Ontario, and Nova Scotia, about half of all residential properties have 2 owners. A slightly smaller percentage have 1 owner. Residential properties with 3 or more owners account for only a small share of residential properties in the 3 provinces:

  • In B.C., 3.5%
  • In Ontario, 2.4%
  • In Nova Scotia, 4.5%

There are, however, differences when the data is broken down by property type and census metropolitan area (CMA).


Date Published: March 12, 2019