Lonely Urban Centers Are Canada’s Next Huge Real Estate Trend

Canada’s Lonely Urban Centers Is The Next Huge Real Estate Trend

If you’re a Canadian real estate agent or developer, you’re going to want to take note of which Canadian cities are the loneliest. Statistics Canada’s new release on household composition shows that single-person households are now the most common type, the first time in the country’s 150 years of existence. We thought we would break that down, to find out which urban centers (a.k.a. Census Metropolitan Areas) this trend is impacting the most.

Single-Person Households By Percentage of Population

The number of people living by themselves in Canadian urban centers is much higher than you might expect. Sherbrooke and Quebec City took the top spots of the list, with 16% of the local populations living by themselves. Next up Victoria, and Saskatoon, tied with 15% of the local populations living by themselves. Toronto and Vancouver were tied with 11% each.

Source: Canadian 2016 Census.

Largest Number of Single-Person Households In Urban Centers

Single-person households by total count wasn’t a huge surprise, with the largest urban centers taking the top three spots. Montreal, Canada’s second largest population centre, has 570,285 single-person households. Toronto, Canada’s largest urban centre, has 519,795. Vancouver, Canada’s third largest population centre, came in third with 275,455.

Source: Canadian 2016 Census.

Fasting Growing Urban centers For Single-Person Households

Between 2011 and 2016, some cities saw massive increases in single-person households. Saskatoon tops the list, with an 89% increase during that period. In second place is Montreal, where the number of single-person households increased 72%. Toronto came in third, with a 57% increase.

Source: Canadian 2016 Census.

Broader Trend Across Canada

The number of single-person households isn’t just an urban trend, it’s happening across Canada. A whopping 28.2% of all households across the country are now single-occupant homes, the highest it’s ever been. It’s debatable whether this is a good or bad thing for society, it does lead to a drastically different economic and social makeup.

Source: Canadian 2016 Census.

This trend has an interesting impact on urban real estate, for two reasons – income, and occupancy. On one hand, single income households typically have a tougher time saving, especially in high priced parts of the country like Toronto, and Vancouver. The more single income households, the stronger the cap on price growth, especially in segments of the market like rentals.

On the other hand, the total number of homes needed increases. The shift from a 2.9 person household is on the decline. This creates additional pressure on real estate prices, by requiring more places to fit the same number of people. We could see the size of units shrink dramatically to accommodate this, but if this trend continues – single family detached units really do become a massive luxury.

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