Investors are playing a big role in the Canadian condo market, confirms a report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In 2012, about 23% of Toronto’s market and 26% of Vancouver’s market were used as rental units.

The report details just how large the condo boom has been over the past 30 years. In 1981, there were just 171,000 condominiums in Canda. By 2011, that number surpassed 1,150,000—not including more than 461,000 rented condos.

Read: Condo market remains stable across country

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today released the 2013 Canadian Housing Observer, its detailed annual review on the state of housing in Canada.

Condo’s quadrupled their marketshare from 3.3% in 1981 to 12.6% in 2011. In 2012, condos amounted to 40% of housing starts in urban Canada. The units are especially popular not only with young adults but seniors too. In fact, 29% of units were owned by those over 65 years of age, while 19% were owned by those under-35 years old in 2011. Still, couples without children and one-person households own the bulk of condos.

Read: Condo demand mixed in big cities: BMO

Despite the perception that condo owners are hit with prohibitive monthly fees, the CMHC found they generally paid lower monthly shelter costs than any other home buyer. On top of that, the median selling price of a condo is lower than other types of housing. March 2013 housing data show that in Toronto and Vanouver, the price of a single-detached home was 1.9 and 2.4 the price of a condo in those markets, respectively.

Vancouver’s housing market has the most condos, at 35% of existing housing stock. This is the highest by far in Canada, says the CMHC. Together, Toronto and Vancouver accounted for 51% of all condo units in Canada.

Read: Condo buyers can’t afford fees: TD