New insights on non-resident ownership and participation in BC, ON and NS housing markets


OTTAWA, March 12, 2019 — New data from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) sheds light on the prevalence of non-resident engagement in homeownership in the British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia housing markets. A person is considered a non-resident owner if his or her primary dwelling is not located within Canada.

Under the CHSP, engagement by non-residents in homeownership can be measured in two ways: by residency ownership and residency participation. Under residency ownership, a property is classified as non-resident owned when the majority of owners are non-residents. Under residency participation, a property is classified as having non-resident participation when at least one owner is non-resident.

These complementary concepts permit a more detailed understanding of non-resident activity. The concept of non-resident participation, in particular, illustrates the upper bounds of non-resident ownership in these provinces, as reported in the most recent Housing Market Insight (HMI) released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Statistics Canada and CMHC continue to work together to improve our understanding of housing markets through the release of new housing-related data and analysis under the CHSP. The CMHC report also examines non-resident ownership by residential property type, period of construction and assessment value.

Read the report below:-


Report Highlights

Non-resident participation in housing markets 

  • Properties that have at least one non-resident owner amount to 6.2% in British Columbia (Vancouver 7.6%), 3.3% in Ontario (Toronto 3.8%) and 6.2% in Nova Scotia (Halifax 4.3%).
  • The proportion of non-resident participation is highest for condominium apartments. The proportion of condominiums that have at least one non-resident owner was 10.4% in British Columbia and 6.1% in Ontario. These shares are higher still in the Vancouver (11.2%) and Toronto (7.6%) Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).
  • In Vancouver, the share of properties constructed in 2016-2017 with at least one non-resident owner is 15.3% – compared with 11.2% for those constructed in 2011-2015 and less than 6% for properties constructed in 1961-1990. This figure is higher (19.2%) for condominium apartments constructed in 2016-2017.
  • The share of Toronto properties constructed in 2016-2017 with at least one non-resident owner is 6.1%, while the share for residential properties of all periods of construction is 3.8%.
  • In Nova Scotia, the proportion of properties that have at least one non-resident owner is higher in the rest of the province (7.1%) than in the Halifax CMA (4.3%), suggesting that non-resident ownership is more prevalent among vacation-oriented properties outside of the province’s major urban centre.


Comparison of median assessment value between non-resident and resident owned properties


  • The median assessment value of condominiums owned by non-residents is higher than those owned by residents in British Columbia (29.1%), Ontario (20.2%), and Nova Scotia (10.8%).
  • In the City of Vancouver (census subdivision) the median assessment value of a condominium owned by a non-resident is $96,000 more than one owned by a resident, the highest differential in the Vancouver CMA
  • In the census subdivision of Toronto the median assessment value of a condominium owned by a non-resident is $37,000 more than one owned by a resident, the highest differential in the Toronto CMA.
  • The largest differential between non-resident and resident owned median assessment value was in single-detached houses in British Columbia at $236,000 (36.7% higher than the median assessment value of resident owned single-detached houses).


  • In Ontario, the median assessment value of single detached houses owned by non-residents was lower than those owned by residents by $35,000, but the data shows differently in Ontario’s two largest urban centres of Toronto and Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part).



Total number of owners of residential properties


  • Approximately half of properties in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia had two owners, while properties with three or more owners made up a small share of properties in the three provinces.


  • Most resident-owned properties in Vancouver CMA had two owners, while non-resident owned properties tended to have one.


  • Vancouver had a much higher share of single-detached properties with one owner built between 2011 and 2017 (39.9%) compared to Toronto (25.8%).


  • In Nova Scotia, most properties had two owners, followed by properties owned by a single owner. Properties with three or more owners represented 4.5% of the total stock, a figure higher than both in British Columbia and Ontario.



The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP)


In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada provided funding to Statistics Canada to improve housing data through the CHSP. The CHSP is comprised of mostly administrative data. The use of administrative data is a key element in Statistics Canada’s modernization effort to produce statistical information that is comprehensive, cost effective and timely. Data in this publication is from the 2018 property assessment rolls for each province.


Through this partnership, CMHC will be releasing a series of Housing Market Insight reports based on data collected though the CHSP. Specific dates have not yet been determined. .



CMHC is also releasing its latest data from the CMHC Condominium Apartment Survey. Since 2014, CMHC has used it as a means to assess the residency status of condominium apartment owners in major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).


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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“Condominium apartments had the highest prevalence of non-resident ownership, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto. In general, non-resident ownership is more frequent in newer and higher value residential properties. The CHSP data allows us to better understand the role of non-residents as a component of demand in Canadian housing markets, a topic that is of public interest in terms of the source of funds and the investment behaviour associated with such properties.”


Aled ab Iorwerth

Deputy Chief Economist

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


SOURCECanada Mortgage and Housing Corporation


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