Ontario has the most local real estate investors with three or more properties
British Columbia, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick top the list in Canada for having the most out-of-province and non-resident investors in residential real estate on a percentage basis, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The figures, part of Statistics Canada’s second report on residential real estate investment, show the rate of out-of-province investors was higher in British Columbia (2.7 per cent), New Brunswick (3.0 per cent) and Nova Scotia (3.8 per cent) than in Ontario (0.5 per cent) and Manitoba (1.4 per cent).
The percentage of in-province investors owning three or more properties, meanwhile, was highest in Ontario at 2.9 per cent and lowest in New Brunswick at 1.6 per cent.
Earlier reporting by Statistics Canada showed that at least 20 per cent of residential real estate was owned by investors at the beginning of 2020 in each of the five provinces tracked. These include Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
An investor is defined as someone who owns at least one residential property that is not used as their primary place of residence, and excludes Canadian non-profit organizations. The category includes business and government entities and people who live outside the province where they own property. Non-resident owners, multiple-property owners and people who own a property with multiple residential units who do not occupy that property are counted.
The latest report from Statistics Canada found that established immigrants — categorized as those who came to Canada before 2010 — made up a higher share of investors than their share of the population.
In one noteworthy finding, the report said the assessed value of property held by immigrant investors tended to be higher than that of Canadian-born investors in all five provinces studied even though their incomes tended to be lower. This was at least partially explained by the fact that that immigrant investors were more likely to own a primary residence in a larger census metropolitan area, where assessment values tend to be higher than in other parts of a province.
In British Columbia, for example, the average assessed value of immigrant investors’ total property holdings was $2.2 million compared with just over $1.6 million for Canadian-born investors. Meanwhile, Canadian-born investors in B.C. had an average individual income of $105,000 compared to an $80,000 average among investors who had immigrated.
In Ontario, the property holdings were on average $1.29 million for investors who had immigrated and $890,000 for Canadian-born investors. Meanwhile, the average individual income was $100,000 for Canadian-born investors and $80,000 for those who had immigrated.
Perhaps less surprisingly, the Statistics Canada report said residents age 55 and older represented a higher proportion of investors than their share of the provincial populations.
Statistics Canada began to dig into the details of residential real estate investment in 2020 amid concerns that while this activity provided needed rental stock, it could also be playing a role in exacerbating house price volatility and limiting housing market access for first-time homebuyers.
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The latest report examined the demographic characteristics of investors to distinguish between different types of investors and help clarify their role in housing markets.
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