Canada’s Largest Real Estate Markets See A Big Drop In New Permanent Residents

Canada’s immigration has slowed due to the pandemic, at least for a few months. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data shows a steep decline in the number of new permanent residents in April. The drop is one of the sharpest in recent history, with large real estate markets most impacted.

Fewer Permanent Residents Admitted To Canada

The pandemic didn’t quite halt new permanent residents, but it came pretty close over the past few months. Canada saw just 4,140 permanent residents admitted in April, down 78% from the month before. This is an 85% decrease compared to the same month last year. The drop over the past few months has put Canada significantly behind its target.

Canadian Permanent Resident Admissions

The monthly number of permanent residents admitted to Canada.

Source: IRCC, Better Dwelling.

The year to date (YTD) numbers aren’t quite as bad, but are down significantly from last year. In the first four months there were 73,920 newly admitted permanent residents, down 20% from last year. The sharp decline is due almost entirely to a drop in March and April numbers. As you may have guessed, some real estate markets will be impacted more than others with this shift.

Toronto Sees 84% Fewer Permanent Residents In April

Newly admitted permanent residents moving to Toronto saw a big drop. There were just 1,520 in April, down 77% from a month before. This is an 84% decline compared to the same month last year. For the month of April, this movement is pretty much in line with the national average.

Canadian Permanent Resident Admissions Change

The year-over-year percent change in monthly permanent residents admitted to Canada.

Source: IRCC, Better Dwelling.

The YTD numbers also show a substantial decline for the first third of the year. Toronto added 26,080 new permanent residents April YTD, down 22% compared to the same period last year. This is a very big drop due entirely to declines in March and April, with the other two months higher than last year. The decline is inline with the national average.

Vancouver Sees 91% Fewer Permanent Residents In April

Just a handful of permanent residents settled in Vancouver in the most recent month of data. The region saw 270 new permanent residents in April, down 88% from a month before. This works out to a 91% decline compared to the same month last year. For those keeping track, that’s worse than the national average.

Canadian Permanent Resident Admissions By Market

The monthly number of permanent residents admitted to Canada, , by major real estate market.

Source: IRCC, Better Dwelling.

When looking at YTD numbers, Vancouver is actually seeing smaller declines than most regions. There were 9,370 new permanent residents in April YTD, down 6.6% from last year. This is one of the smallest declines for the first third of the year, and is due to much higher growth in January and February than the rest of the country.

Montreal Sees 94% Fewer Permanent Residents In April

Montreal is seeing one of the biggest declines of any major city across Canada. The region saw just 165 new permanent residents in April, down 89% from a month before. This works out to a decline of 94% when compared to the same month last year. This is worse than the national average, but generally Montreal has been seeing a decline of permanent residents over the past year.

Canadian Permanent Resident Admissions Change By Market

The year-over-year percent change in monthly permanent residents admitted to Canada, by major real estate market.

Source: IRCC, Better Dwelling.

Montreal’s YTD permanent resident numbers show one of the biggest declines in the country. The region added 6,615 new permanent residents this year ending in April, down 31% compared to the same period last year. This is a much bigger decline than the national average. Once again, these numbers have been declining since last year. The pandemic accelerated these declines.

Immigration is cyclical, and tends to move with employment trends. National Bank of Canada has even forecasted a decline later this year. However, the decline we’re currently seeing is likely due to the direct impact of the pandemic. The additional forecasted declines aren’t expected to arrive until later this year, or early next year.

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  • LT 2 years ago

    I wonder how many international students aren’t coming back to Vancouver next semester. That’s going to kill a lot of the condo speculords that feast on students with nosebleed rents.

  • Dave 2 years ago

    Why are we taking in any immigrants if we don’t have jobs for locals, and we have to extend emergency pay? 2 more months, which is going to cost taxpayers billions.

    • Whiskey Foxtrot 2 years ago

      I can’t tell if you’re looking for a real answer or not, but the answer is GDP per capita has been declining since last year. Since Canada only reports aggregate GDP numbers, and not per capita, it’s easy to game public opinion by adding more people to show the economy is “booming,” when in reality it’s becoming less productive.

      Also the immigrants get to pay for the domestic liabilities racked by providing tax revenue.

    • Balky Bartokamous 2 years ago

      I’m not sure why you’re assuming that people that are out of work here can do the same jobs as people immigrating here… that’s a very common fallacy and used by anti-immigration advocates.

      The vast majority of immigration to Canada are skilled with degrees… and so a Canadian that lost their job at Foot Locker or another retail outlet is not going to be impacted by doctors, engineers, science, etc coming in by way of immigration. It is actually a net benefit as the taxes paid by skilled immigrants are what is paying for their CERB.

      • Jason Chau 2 years ago

        This is where most people have an issue without overtly saying it – permanent residents are usually better educated than locals, and take less money. Over 50% of immigrants had at least a bachelor’s degree, while 20% of locals obtained one.

        Now, it’s disingenuous to say all immigrants are high labour immigrants though. We have a lot of programs, including TFWs, that use low skill labour for companies that just straight up exploit developing nation labor in Canada. If you can’t find someone to pour coffee at minimum wage, it needs to be a higher wage. If you can’t find someone to work on your farm for less than minimum, maybe try paying minimum.

      • Bob123 2 years ago

        Hey BRO
        I have a friend’s friend who has Master’s degree and came here. He didnt get a proper job and was working as logistics coordinator for 2K and living in a basement. Now that job is gone due to COVID. After some struggle, with some influence my friend got a job at call center for his wife. I am not against immigrants.

        Excessive immigrants are a problem. Job market is saturated. If you settle for a less salary then you will be in. And this gets lesser only as more immigrants arrive!!

      • Tod 2 years ago

        The idea that immigrants to Canada are highly educated and are filling roles that Canadians are not able to is false. Many have higher education, but are not necessarily working in those fields. Ex…..I’m Irish and came to Toronto on a work visa designed by the Canadian government to bring more Irish people here to work in the service industry. I now have permanent residence. My partner is a photographer from South Africa and works as a photo retoucher. My best friend is from Brazil and is a makeup artist…… I could give you more examples, but the fact is that we are not high skilled, yet we are all here as permanent residents. It worked out for us, but I can see why Canadian citizens would be upset.

    • segi 2 years ago

      If Canada stops immigration then the country’s economy will collapse. Canada is only country which runs by immigration.Immigration students pay four times higher fees then local student. They have to deposit $25,000 in GIC account for three years before they come here. I dont have to tell you how bank invest these money WIN WIN situation for Gov and bank and student. mind you! that this amount is in billion!!! yes its in billion. No wonder why all the colleges are building big campuses. Also, do not forget that they are young crowd so that they work here, pay tax which benefit old age people living on pension. In future, these students will buy reals estate, buy car, pay property tax etc. Canada NEEDS PEOPLE to sustain their economy.

  • Ashu 2 years ago

    real estate agents are extremely bad mentality & unethical business mindset. In this crisis, they are doing whatever to bring market up and hot. Gov’t should take their licenses back.

  • Mark 2 years ago

    Balky Bartokamous, you do make some interesting and valid points such as:

    1. A good number of new immigrants have skills and degrees. However, one important thing to keep in mind on this particular point is – The degrees are counted towards obtaining the Federal Skilled MIgrant Visa’s. However, when the new immigrants arrives and starts to look for work in his field of expertise is that he faces an obstacle at the provincial level – there qualifications are not transferrable and the first thing they are told is they do not have any CANADIAN EXPERIENCE. And therefore they have to settle for lower salaried positions until they gain the so called Canadian Experience – (I have been through this so I know it)

    Many of the new PR arrivals have no degress or skills, a large number of these immigrants gain entry as PR by giving the Quebec government $1.2M dollars interest free for 5 years in exchange for getting a PR.

    Most of the above new arrivals land in Quebec and once they obtain their landed papers, they book a ticket and head to Toronto or Vancouver and the first thing they will do is buy a house, furniture and a new car.

    2. Yes, a good number of Immigrants are knowledge workers and they are able to find jobs but they do not earn anyway near to what a local might be taking home everymonth. Therefore in terms of their contribution to the overall Taxes is much lower than the locals. Due to the lower wages earned they qualify for various tax credits also.

    3. The money that is being used for CERB is currently not being funded by the tax receipts but it is being borrowed by monetizing Debt by the Bank Of Canada. The increased debt and zero productivity will contribute to higher monthly INTEREST payments for the new debt will resort to the increase of taxes and cut in public services thereby the quality of life of the working Canadian will continue to degrade every year.

    The entire immigration program is designed for keeping the Real Estate Industry ticking for as long as possible. When it stalls like now, the BoC and CMHC will guarantee new loans at 5% down to anyone who has payslip…

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