Canada’s half-century streak of home ownership growth ends

by Ephraim Vecina on 10 Sep 2018

The proportion of home owners across Canada shrunk for the first time in nearly 5 decades as 11 out of 13 provinces saw their ownership rates declining from 2011 to 2016, according to the latest analysis of Statistics Canada numbers by Point2 Homes.

The 2016 StatsCan census found that the ownership rate nationwide fell to 67.8%, declining by 1.2% from 5 years prior.

The only two Canadian provinces that saw their proportion of home owners go up were Quebec (61.3%) and the Northwest Territories (53.7%). Meanwhile, Nunavut – long laboring under prohibitive cost and supply constraints – posted the lowest rate nationwide (20%).

Of the 100 metropolitan markets analysed by Point2 Homes, Caledon in Ontario showed the highest ownership rate (90.8%), while Montreal had the lowest (37%).

Read more: Tighter policies attractive to Toronto, Vancouver residents

Amid these results, renting has become an increasingly important force in the national housing market. Around 32.2% of Canadians were renting their homes in 2016, up from 31% in 2011 and accounting for 4.6 million people nationwide.

However, while Montreal, Victoria, and Vancouver have long enjoyed significant renter presence, none of the 100 cities studied have seen a majority switch from ownership to renting between 2011 and 2016, according to StatsCan.

And while the sharpest declines in ownership were observed in Waterloo (7.2% drop), Nanaimo (5.9%) and Abbotsford (5.6%), home owners still comprised a clear majority in these markets.


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