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Foreign Ownership in Canada's housing market remains low: CMHC reports

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 11/30/16 -- The share of foreign ownership in condominium apartments remains low in major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). This analysis is the result of combined insight from two Housing Market Insight reports released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation today - a national look at foreign ownership and a second report delving deeper into Montreal.

National Report Highlights


--  Foreign ownership of condominiums was highest in Vancouver and Toronto
    at 2.2% and 2.3%, respectively. However, both markets saw a decline in
    share of foreign ownership compared to last year. 
--  The 2016 shares in both Vancouver and Toronto were more in line with
    those in 2014. The relatively higher shares observed in 2015 were due to
    an unusually high proportion of foreign ownership in newly constructed
    condominiums that year relative to 2014 and 2016. 
--  Foreign ownership in Montreal remained relatively stable at 1.1%.
    Foreign ownership remains higher in Downtown Montreal and Nuns' Island,
    at 4.3%. 
--  Outside of the above mentioned CMAs, the share of foreign owners ranged
    from a low of 0.2% in Saskatoon and Regina to a high of 1.2% in Halifax.
--  Foreign ownership continues to be higher among newer and larger
    buildings in the central areas of Toronto and Vancouver. In Toronto, the
    share of foreign ownership rose to 3.9% in buildings completed since
    2010 and in buildings with more than 500 units, it rose to 5.5%. In
    Vancouver, newer buildings saw a 5.0% share of foreign owners while
    buildings with more than 100 units reported 3.2% share of foreign
    owners. 

Montreal Report Highlights


--  In 2015, between 4% and 8% of foreign owned condominium units in
    Montreal were left empty. 
--  40% of foreign buyers who purchased their unit in 2015 did so without
    the use of a mortgage. For all buyers (Canadian and foreign), this
    proportion was 15 per cent. 
--  The condominiums owned by foreigners in central sectors of Montreal
    generally had higher values than those owned by Canadians. 
--  Since the beginning of 2016, the number of foreign buyers in the
    Montreal area, while remaining limited, recorded an increase over the
    same period in 2015. The greatest gain was registered among investors
    from China, however, it's important to note that this represents only
    about 30 additional buyers.

This release includes video.

In order to access future Market Analysis Centre publications from CMHC, please subscribe to Housing Observer Online.

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.

For more information, visit our website or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

QUOTES

"Foreign ownership is just one factor influencing Canada's housing markets - but it's an important one that continues to gain attention. Our studies show that the share of foreign ownership remains low and concentrated in newer, larger buildings located in the cores of major cities like Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We continue to work with our partners in finding new ways to bring this important story into sharper focus."

Bob Dugan

Chief Economist

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

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