Canada Sees A Decline of Wealthy Immigrants In 2017

Canada Sees A Decline of Wealthy Immigrants In 2017

Global wealth migration is accelerating, but traditional winners of the migration are losing. Analysts at New World Wealth (NWW), a firm that tracks the trends of high net-worth individuals, observed an increase of movement of wealthy families. Despite the increase, top desinations for wealthy immigrants are seeing a decline. This decline of wealthy immigrants was especially pronounced in Canada.

Canada Saw 5,000 Wealthy Families Immigrate In 2017

Canada’s high net-worth individual (HNWI) population is expanding, but growth is slowing. NWW analysts estimate there were 372,700 HNWI in Canada. That number benefitted from 5,000 new wealthy immigrants to Canada. Despite the large sounding number, it’s a 37.5% decline compared to the number that moved to Canada in 2016. Dropping back to 2015 levels isn’t the end of the world, but it highlights the boom in 2016.

Global Wealth Migration Is Accelerating

High net-worth families are migrating at an increasing pace. In 2017, NWW analysts observed 95,000 HNWIs leave their home countries. This is up from 82,000 families in 2016, and 64,000 in 2015. The trend is accelerating, but the top immigration hubs for the rich, are losing ground.

Source: New World Wealth. Better Dwelling.

The three largest outflows were observed in China, India, and Turkey. China lost 10,000 HNWI in 2017, making it the biggest loser on the list. India saw the second highest outflow, losing 7,000 HWNIs in 2017. Turkey saw 6,000 HNWI leave in 2017, making it the third largest loser of wealthy families. All three of these countries have been seeing large amounts of capital flight since 2014.

Source: New World Wealth. Better Dwelling.

The top three inflows of wealthy immigrants were the same as last year – Australia, the US, and Canada. Australia saw 10,000 wealthy families immigrate, making it the top single destination. In second was the US, with 9,000 new wealthy families. In third was Canada, with 5,000 wealthy new immigrants. Looking at the chart below, we can see that these are substantial declines compared to the previous year, especially in Canada.

Source: New World Wealth. Better Dwelling.

The slowing of imported wealth is a huge issue for countries that depend on it to bolster their economy. A decline of wealthy buyers in Canada could have been a significant contribution to the slowing real estate market last year. Planning for a number of wealthy immigrants that never show up, can lead to a mismatch of expectations. Although let’s be honest, dropping back to 2015 levels of wealthy immigrants doesn’t exactly put Canada in a bad place. It’s just not where people were expecting that trend to go.

Like this post? Like us on Facebook for the next one in your feed.



We encourage you to have a civil discussion. Note that reads "civil," which means don't act like jerks to each other. Still unclear? No name-calling, racism, or hate speech. Seriously, you're adults – act like it.

Any comments that violates these simple rules, will be removed promptly – along with your full comment history. Oh yeah, you'll also lose further commenting privileges. So if your comments disappear, it's not because the illuminati is screening you because they hate the truth, it's because you violated our simple rules.

  • Trader Jim 6 years ago

    Keep saying this. We can up our immigration targets, but it doesn’t mean we’re going to get an increasing amount of immigrants we need. If we’re importing people to hit a number, we’re only trying to build GDP, not a useable base.

    No, I’m not anti-immigration. I think people just need to realize that it takes a relatively long time for an economy to reap the benefits of this. We need more near term growth strategies, otherwise you’ll lose another generation of Canadians.

    • bluetheimpala 6 years ago

      I haven’t seen that much evidence to suggest HNWI migration adds to GDP/productivity/growth however there is a lot of data to support allowing educated individuals with families who have some basic fund of under $100K (heck probably as little as $25K would do it…). Do we need more people who are coming Canada to build a family and future or those who come to build their wealth?

    • Dana 6 years ago

      Trader Jim; Seconded and I am an immigrant!! 🙂 I fell in love in with the polite Canadian culture, but to maintain this culture, the Canadians MUST be the majority not minority. This government, instead of focusing on industrial growth, is inflating GDP by immigration head count. The biggest risk with high immigration quota is not only the wrong focus to build the economy, but also the quality of the newcomers. If you have non-English speaking comers, they need at least 4 years before entering the employment market. Taxation to support this program is a killer to any economy!!

      • Canadian in LA 6 years ago

        @Dana What kind of racist comment is that? “I fell in love in with the polite Canadian culture, but to maintain this culture, the Canadians MUST be the majority not minority.” Are you expecting 30million non-citizen status Canadians roaming around Canada ruining your neighbourhood?

        I seriously don’t know what happened to the Canada I left 12 years ago. Maybe I am just romanticizing my memories of Canada.

        • Beh G. 6 years ago

          Oh god, things were amazing in T.O. 12 years ago! I would say that’s about when the gradual decline began. We left June of last year and when we went back to the GTA in December things were noticeably worse in just 6 months! And it wasn’t just our perception but everyone we talked to said the same thing.

          Of course we should have heeded the warnings of one of our friends who moved to Cambodia a couple of years ago… he was in Toronto last April when we were still there and had gone back in September and told us we were in for a real treat [sarcasm]. We thought he was exaggerating and things couldn’t be that much worse in a few months but honestly, it was an understatement if anything.

          I think you notice how bad things really are, how expensive everything is, and how stressed, insensitive, wound-up and zombiesue the general population has become, when you live outside of the conditioning [read brainwashing] that T.O. is a world class city and an amazing place to live.

          We live in a little town in Spain now (first two Canadians here) and funny enough when we randomly met a Spanish couple a couple of days ago, the first thing they told us was that their friends from Toronto can’t take it any more and are moving to our little town in a few months!

          This is of course anecdotal but from people around me, I’ve seen more wealth and brain moving out of Toronto in the past 2 years than into it and I think it’s a doomed socio-economic policy to replace your most talented, most patriotic upper middle class population with HNWI’s – never mind that for every 1 HNWI individuals we’re taking in 300 refugees and “sponsored” family members (i.e. groups with negligible or no net positive contribution to the economy).

          • Joe 6 years ago

            @Ben, I am American who was working between US and Toronto, with clients in both locations. I was not in Toronto 12 years ago, but as little as 4 years ago, around 2014, Toronto seemed like a great city. It was about $1,000 to $1,500 cheaper than major US cities in terms of monthly rental costs (NYC, Boston, SF). The people were nice, the area was not as expansive as major US metro areas, but there was always lots to do. I decided to work out of downtown, b/c by 2014 it was easy to find a good condo with great amenities at a 30% discount compared to major US city.

            By late 2016, that all changed. Landlords were putting their units on the market, pushing their tenants to accommodate realtors and potential buyers without any acknowledgement of the inconvenience they were causing their current occupants. Millennials, esp in finance and tech were granted uber high salaries thinking they were special, and knew the way forward, failing to understand,nor grasp they were living in a Gilded Age of hyper inflated assets that would end badly. These newly minted young high earners were moving into the city, taking on high mortgages, and pushing small condos into the stratosphere with regards to price. The quaintness of Toronto, gave into pricey high condo rentals, speciality coffee shops, over priced restaurants, upscale gyms, and the latest club or bar du jour on every corner. The news and events looked like a rehash of the 1920’s era, with no sense of reality.

            When you looked at the young buyers who came by to check out the condos, they were literally in their late 20’s early 30’s, tape measure in hand, thinking they would soon sign their name to a $500 CAD to $700 CAD mortgage for a shoebox in the sky, with the thought that this era would just go and on. Moreover, they were encouraged by sleazy real estate agents who kept bellowing how the property was a good investment , and their new buyers were wise to get in now! What could go wrong?

            Toronto was not the same by 2017. It was not a destination city to live and work, … it was now a lifestyle choice. I left after the place I renting was sold, and I was given an eviction, so a proud young buyer could enjoy his $650+ CAD shoebox in the sky.

            This market is well on its way into a correction. But the devastation it will do to a whole generation will play its self over years. There will be a recession within 2-3 years, unemployment will tick up, a lot of correction in wages, a lot of debt, esp mortgages, will have to be discharged, and Toronto will be a lot different than what it is now.

      • Sil Le 6 years ago

        How exactly would non-English speakers come into Canada in large numbers? The only way now is as refugees and through family unification. For the latter, the person sponsoring family members are responsible for supporting them. Every other category requires fluency in English or French. Please understand what you’re talking about before posting uninformed comments.

  • Carolyn 6 years ago

    Rich immigrants have a privilege most of us don’t have, and that’s they can move wherever they want. If Canada is becoming a worse option (while more people are moving apparently), what exactly do they know about our economy that we aren’t being informed of?

    • Dana 6 years ago

      Carolyn, seconded 100%. Adding, I am non-rich immigrant, but if Canadian economy goes down, I will move to US or back to Europe too :)…. Immigrants of all “shape and size” have always other options and this is the reason why building the economy on immigration head count is ridiculous.

  • Little Bo Peep 6 years ago

    Good. We should shut down immigration to all of our major cities, until we can figure out what they’re doing. Many of them never move here, it’s just to secure a second passport, which they need to buy a house to take advantage of.

  • Professor of real estate 6 years ago

    I’ll take rich immigrants over family reunification and care giver immigrants any day.
    rich immigrants buy things that help the overall economy. why is everyone complaining
    about rich foreigners buying real estate in Canada. they simply have transferred wealth to a
    generation of canadians (most of whom are complete losers but got rich off of owning real estate).
    these same Canadians have better retirements and can spread wealth to their children and communities. money transferred from yellow/brown people to white people (the same as it has always been). What is there to complain about? you got rich for doing nothing but living in Canada for a generation before others came.

    • Brian 6 years ago

      Professor Of Real Estate, your statement, “you got rich for doing nothing but living in Canada for a generation before others came.”, is utterly ignorant and arrogant. Many HNW immigrants, ones are those who are sitting on their butts taking advantage of the equity built up by past and present generations of Canadians and making money from merely “investing” or, worse, speculating in Canadian residential real estate driving up the cost of housing for those who need a reasonably priced home to buy or rent. Canada does not need your kind of HNW immigrant who is a carpet bagger who has another citizenship and may leave Canada at any time for “greener” pastures. Canada needs immigrants who make long-term, rest-of-life, commitments to Canada to build their lives and Canada’s economy long-term.

      • professor of real estate 6 years ago

        Brian buddy. What equity was built up by a generation of deserving Canadians? My parents didn’t do anything in particular except to buy a house a generation ago. They got filthy equity in the house. If foreigners want to speculate and pay even more for the house doesn’t that help my parents (Canadians) who will then eventually spend it in Canada or give it to their children in Canada. What scenario does a Canadian not benefit. Oh yeah that is right. The loser next generation Canadian who wants to do nothing but think that because they live in Canada they deserve a ‘reasonably priced home to purchase or rent’. dude you are a communist. I’ll rent you an apartment in Cuba. We want as many dollars as possible invested in this country. All that foreign money in GTA? that is a hell of a lot of land transfer tax that pays for your toilet to flush and pay for transit etc…. I would take many HNW individuals in Canada and would prefer to ship out an equal amount of long term Canadians who haven’t done jack crap for this country except flunk out of school and use social services and complain. You talk about foreign carpet bagger? You must mean the existing tens of thousands of Canadian parasites already in this country who live from welfare cheque to welfare cheque.

  • Dana 6 years ago

    Carolyn, seconded 100%. Adding, I am non-rich immigrant, but if Canadian economy goes down, I will move to US or back to Europe too :)…. Immigrants of all “shape and size” have always other options and this is the reason why building the economy on immigration head count is ridiculous.

  • Bob 6 years ago

    I think you’re missing the effect of the demand in relation to size. The US has at least 10 times our population, but their piece of the HNWI intake is just 25-65% higher than ours!

    Given our size, and the limited number of houses in the desirable places to live here, 5000 is still a big impact-producing number.

  • Tommy 6 years ago

    By HNWI, are we referring to immigrants with $1 – $5 million in assets?

  • Gattu 6 years ago

    We immigrated to Canada couple of years back for its warm and welcoming society, vastly simpler immigration process (compared to the US), clean air and water (my toddler son had recurring respiratory problems, which were a direct result of poor air quality where we previously lived). We did not move to Canada for public healthcare (it was better where we came from) or schools (we tried public school for a year, but it didn’t work out for us, so our kids go to private school now).

    Canada is a lovely country to raise children. Our kids are growing up to be proud Canadians, and adding to the country’s celebrated diversity. But we hope our kids will prove hardworking / smart enough to get into a top university in the US, and go on to have global careers. So although we are very happy to call Canada home, that may change again in 10 years.

    • C 6 years ago

      Only in canada would you hear a visitor bragging about adding to the country’s celebrated diversity, on a housing blog. My children are descendants of british loyalists, and first nations peoples, they have always called Canada their home, and they will always call Canada their home. And they add to the diversity as much, or more than any immigrant visitor just here for the buffet meal. But thank you for confirming that our lax immigration allows manipulation and abuse by people like you. Please, find an American university and move on, and make space for those who wish to truly come to canada and call it a home and build this country as my childrens ancestors did.
      I for one would take a hatian “irregular border crosser” any day over a selfish twat like you. Enjoy your diversity while you can, you might not find other countries as interested in your diversity as you are.

      • gattu 6 years ago

        Thanks for sharing your views, and I mean that genuinely. You add to the diversity as much as I do, that’s the thing about diversity, the more the merrier.

        The perspective that people can only belong to one country… it’s outdated and flies in the face of the globalized world. Hopefully, I have been able to contribute positively to all five countries I’ve lived in, and will do my best in Canada too.

    • Beh G. 6 years ago

      LMAO. I’m really sorry you had to hear that rant my friend but just goes to show that you’re way off on your perception of Canada being a “warm and welcoming society”! That ship sailed a decade ago! 😉

      • gattu 6 years ago

        It’s all good, I’m not offended by said rant 🙂 Having lived in different countries, I can say Canada is still extraordinarily inclusive.

    • As you can c 6 years ago

      Gattu – Many Canadians (immigrants or not) leave Canada to call another country their home for a variety of reasons (retirement, jobs…) all the time. Nothing new or wrong with that. You do what is best for you and your family.

      The “warm and welcoming society” impression of yours however, is fleeting at best – a mirage. We have more than our share of insensitive, racist and haughty jerks.

  • More Young Foreign Buyers Are Taking Out Mortgages For Canadian Real Estate… Kind Of | Better Dwelling 6 years ago

    […] official government answer. Until then, those looking for more immediate numbers, should look to the 34% decline we’ve seen in wealthy immigrants last year. I know this is going to make many Vancouver agents shed a tear, but the money train has […]

Comments are closed.