The majority (82.9%) of condo buyers in Toronto and Vancouver are homeowners, and just 17.1% are investors, finds a report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

This news has caused some market watchers to raise their eyebrows. In fact, most estimate the number of condo investors in Toronto, for instance, is closer to 40%, reports

“As information on condominium investment is rather limited at this time, CMHC has gathered new data on a segment of domestic condominium investment activity in Toronto and Vancouver,” Bob Dugan, chief economist at CMHC’s Market Analysis Centre, explains in a media release.

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He adds, “While the results are not representative of other markets or all types of investors, the survey helps to shed some light on the profile and purchasing motivations of a segment of condominium investors in Toronto and Vancouver.”

The survey did not cover Canadian households that own condominium units in Toronto or Vancouver, says CMHC. Foreign and corporate investors are also not covered by the survey. Experts suggest this could be the reason for the lower than expected investor percentage.

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The survey also finds about half of the condo investors in Toronto and Vancouver rent out their last purchased unit. Additional statistics include:

  • 58.4% expect to keep their last purchased unit for more than 5 years;
  • 17.9 % for 2 to 5 years;
  • 7.6% for less than two years, and 16.1% did not know or answer;
  • 11.9% bought their last secondary condominium unit with the intention of reselling it for a profit within a year of purchase; and
  • 42.1% of the Toronto and Vancouver investor households had no mortgage on their last purchased condominium unit.

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“CMHC continues to explore opportunities to enhance the availability of information on foreign and corporate investment activities in the housing market,” adds Dugan.

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