Ontario Sees Spike in Homebuyers Looking for Investment Properties
People are increasingly directing their dollars into investment properties in Ontario.
According to new data from Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), more homebuyers are seeking properties in Ontario that they have no intention of calling home.
Throughout the province, the number of non-owner occupied investment properties increased by 34,915 in the 12 months leading up to January 2020. Non-owner properties comprised 23.2% of all owned residential properties at the start of 2020 compared to 22.7% the year prior. Ontario condo units were the most attractive option among investors, with 44% not occupied by their owners.
Cities with large universities — Kingston, London, and Kitchener-Waterloo — saw the highest percentage of non-owner occupied condos. Meanwhile, in Toronto, 38% of condos are not occupied by owners. In the red-hot Barrie region, 40% of condos are not occupied by their owners.
With affordable housing front and centre of today’s federal election, investment properties have been thrust to the spotlight. All three main parties have promised to crack down on foreign investment in Canadian housing.
In the case of Ontario, however, the CHSP report actually shows that more than 90% of non-owner occupied properties were owned by residents of Canada — not foreign investors. In Toronto, only 7% of all condo units are actually owned by foreigners — something that may come as a shock to some.
The notoriously pricey Vancouver region, on the other hand, saw the highest share of foreign-owned property from 2019 to 2020. The area close to the University of British Columbia experienced the highest rate of foreign-owned condos.
Though telling, the CHSP data is from early 2020, so it doesn’t account for the dramatic real estate boom brought on by the pandemic. As the cost of rent dropped significantly in cities like Toronto, purchasing a condo as an investment opportunity became a less attractive option than it once was.
One thing is for sure, judging from the number of condos that keep popping up throughout the province, homebuyers in the market for an investment property should have no shortage of options.