GREATER TORONTO – Looking to buy a GTA condo this year? You’re definitely not alone, but according to newly-released statistics, the majority of your competition for condos will likely be Canadian residents.
In Greater Toronto, investments made by foreign buyers have long been perceived as a major driver of the condominium market’s continued sales activity and increasing prices. For many years, however, no official numbers were available on the subject of exactly how many units are owned by foreign buyers.
As a first step towards filling that knowledge gap, in 2014 the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation began looking into foreign ownership as a component of their annual Condominium Vacancy Survey. The newest results, released via the corporation’s Housing Market Insight report for April 2016, reveal a number of interesting trends:
- Foreign ownership shares have been increasing across the condo market. Within the period of CMHC’s study, the biggest annual jump was experienced by suites completed after 2010, and located within the City of Toronto — which increased from 6.6 per cent foreign ownership in 2014, to 8.7 per cent in 2015.
- A relatively small portion of Greater Toronto’s market is foreign-owned. Across Toronto’s entire Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), just 3.3 per cent of tracked condominium units were owned by foreign buyers in 2015. However, the concentration was slightly higher in Toronto Centre, where 5.8 per cent of tracked condominium units were foreign-owned.
- Foreign ownership is much more prevalent in newer condos. Out of Toronto Centre’s tracked condo suites completed prior to 1990, only 3 per cent were foreign-owned in 2015. The area’s condominiums completed after 2010, however, showed a much higher foreign ownership share of 10.1 per cent.
- The GTA’s findings roughly mirror those of Greater Vancouver. In 2014, the Toronto CMA’s foreign condo ownership share of 2.4 per cent was very close to Vancouver’s figure of 3.5 per cent.
While those trends are only based on two years’ worth of data, CMHC chief economist Bob Dugan says the corporation plans to continue monitoring the trend going forward.
“This report represents another piece in the puzzle of foreign investment in Canada,” Dugan explained in the Insight report.
“It remains a top priority for CMHC to continue to get more information on foreign investment in Canada’s Housing market.”