The share of condominium apartments in Vancouver owned by non-residents remained low in 2017, according to a new report from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The 14-page report, Non-resident ownership of condominium apartments, looks at the rate of non-resident ownership of condominiums in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver from 2014 to 2017.

Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist provided the following analysis: “The share of condominium apartments 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 Montreal, after the introduction of foreign buyers’ taxes in Ontario and British Columbia may indicate a shift in demand by non-resident buyers.”

Dugan went on to say: “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.”

Definition of 'foreign ownership'

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

CMHC uses the following letter codes 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.

Data sources

The federal government's 2017 budget provided funding to Statistics Canada to improve housing data. This report on non-resident ownership is a joint initiative from Statistics Canada and CMHC.

Statistics Canada data comes from a variety of sources including tax data, business register data, census data, and land titles and property assessment data.

CMHC’s data included telephone interviews with property management companies, condominium (strata) boards, and building superintendents.