Canadian Immigration Resumes Big Declines, As Permanent Resident Numbers Plummet

Canadian immigration numbers have resumed massive drops, after briefly showing improvement in June. Government of Canada (GoC) data shows permanent resident arrivals made big declines in July. The previous month had briefly seen the declines shrink in size, providing optimism to real estate markets. However, the month proved to be an anomaly, with the latest data showing much larger drops in arrivals.

Canadian Permanent Resident Arrivals Drops Over 60%

Permanent residents arriving in Canada are back to making steep declines. There were 13,645 permanent residents admitted in July, down 62.73% from the same month a year before. Year-to-date the country has seen 220,500 people admitted, down 38.25% compared to the same period last year. June showed improvements in the trend, but those rolled back in the latest numbers.

Canadian Permanent Resident Arrivals

The 12-month percent change in permanent residents admitted to Canada.

Source: Government of Canada, Better Dwelling.

Ontario Sees Permanent Resident Arrivals Decline Over 63%

Ontario is the largest province for arrivals, and represented a big part of the declines. There were 5,780 permanent residents admitted in July, down 64.62% from the same month last year. Year-to-date the province had 102,715 permanent residents admitted, down 38.01% compared to the same period last year. July’s decline is over 50% larger than June, dumping that same bucket of water on a near-term recovery.

Canadian Permanent Resident Arrivals

The percent change in permanent residents admitted to Canada for the month of July, compared to last year.

Source: Government of Canada, Better Dwelling.

BC’s Permanent Resident Declines Accelerate, More Than Tripling

British Columbia saw one of the smallest declines in the country this past June. That all rolled back in July, as declines accelerated at a rapid pace. There were 1,580 permanent residents admitted in July, down 71.94% from the same month last year. Year-to-date the province admitted 35,975 permanent residents, down 29.03% compared to the same period last year. The decline in July was over 3x the one seen in June, and the largest of any province.

Quebec’s Permanent Resident Arrival Declines Are Smaller

Quebec is one of the few provinces to see smaller declines than the month before. There were 2,485 permanent residents admitted in July, down 35.79% from the same month last year. Year-to-date just 24,385 people were admitted in the province, down 45.32% from last year. The declines in July were nearly half of what they were just a month before. However, the province is still overrepresented compared to the national year-to-date numbers.

Alberta Sees Over 62% Decline In Permanent Resident Arrivals

Alberta’s declines are also getting much larger, but are in-line with the rest of the country. There were 1,635 permanent residents admitted in July, down 62.33% from the same month last year. Year-to-date 27,215 permanent residents arrived, down 60.41% from the year before. Like most provinces, the July decline was larger than the one seen in June. Both numbers saw declines just a few points off the national declines for arrivals. 

Nova Scotia Sees Over 68% Decline In Permanent Resident Arrivals

Nova Scotia is seeing the decline in permanent resident arrivals get larger. There were just 240 permanent residents that arrived in July, down 76.59% from the same month last year. Year-to-date 4,350 permanent residents arrived, down 44.37% from the same period last year. The decline for  July was almost double the drop from June, and was one of the biggest drops in the country. 

June’s brief improvements appear to just be noise, as July made much sharper declines. The declines are largely attributed to the pandemic, shifting plans and causing processing delays. RBC forecasts weak immigration for at least a year, possibly longer. Previously this was considered to be the primary driver behind escalating real estate prices. However, volumes have nearly dropped in half, and people are still bidding up home prices.

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  • Trader Jim 4 years ago

    It’s supply

    Supply went up.

    It’s immigration.

    Immigration fell.

    At this point, you have to admit prices are rising solely on the fact that Canadians want prices to keep rising. I don’t know how it ends, but with the government putting more and more money to create inefficient markets, you’re no longer waiting for fundamentals to make sense. You’re waiting for a government that does.

    • Ethan Wu 4 years ago

      It’s credit availability IMO. People look at the monthly payment now, and don’t care how much the final purchase price is. So as rates drop, people are willing to pay more. They don’t realize at some point in the cycle, those rates have to go up too, and they’ll just expect you to increase your financing.

    • Sam 4 years ago

      Interesting, I too feel that Canadians are too stuck in the mindset that investing in Property is money, money, money to the point where there’s no rational thinking anymore.

      e.g. a 25yr amoritized mortgage at 2.9% for $800g’s with 10% down comes to $3475/month payment. A 25yr amoritized mortgage at 4.9% for $600g’s with 10% down comes to $2600/month payment. The point where low mortgage rates are propelling the “gotta-get” market failed to make sense when $600 thousand dollar homes in a healthy market place started selling for $800 thousand. The market has been stupid for years (laundering, foreign ownership…yes…but also propelled by just plain stupid Canadians taking on way too much debt).

      • Oakville Rob 4 years ago

        2.9 or 4.9? Mortgage rates this week are 1.6ish…

        • Sam 4 years ago

          Good point. Fyi, a 25yr amoritized mortgage for $695 000.00 at 1.6% with 10% down comes to $2600.00/month, same as a $600 000.00 mortgage at 4.6%. However,I still think the sky-rise in home prices out-weighs the value received through lower mortgage rates.

          • Sam 4 years ago

            Is there anywhere where hard data is broken down to determine the level of value or detriment of immigration on Canadian housing? Also, is there something intelligent written about foreign ownership? I assume everyone feels positive toward immigrants that want to live, work and contribute to the Canadian economy but negatively disposed to foreign stakeholders using (and contributing) to our sky-rocketing housing industry for profit.

            I’d like to get a better handle on the scope of this issue…not sure how much an issue it actually is…..

    • AdamC 4 years ago

      Current immigration shortfalls are largely due to processing delays. The Federal professing backlog is huge at the moment and only getting worse.

  • dogwhistle 4 years ago

    Well, I’ve lived in Canada for 11 years, became a citizen, and these last 12 months I’ve been told a few times to “go back where I came from” and I’m white.. hate to think how bad things are for ‘minorities’

    I don’t think I want to keep my business here, pay taxes, and employ people to be treated this way.

    People shouldn’t bother coming to Canada for a few years, it need us more than we need it

    • Ethan Wu 4 years ago

      I see what you’re doing, and the article is by no means a “dogwhistle” like you’re suggesting.

      When looking at durable goods you need to look at immigration levels as a demand side factor. It’s the same reason the government decided it needed to increase immigration levels to cover future tax liabilities.

      The government is having the exact same conversation about how the drop is increasing their dependency ratio.

      • dogwhistle 4 years ago

        dogwhistle is my nick nothing else, I like dogs.

    • straw walker 4 years ago

      White people are minority

  • Jamie 4 years ago

    Other countries are also catching onto the pay-to-immigrate scheme. Canada is notably mentioned as a pioneer in the industry.

  • Ian Brown 4 years ago

    Beyond processing, the type of immigration Canada is leaning on is pro-cyclical, and drops during recessions. Economic immigrants go where the jobs are.

  • The Truth Will Set You Free 4 years ago

    …so this year in Ontario there is a decline of close to 40k and supply is way up yet ‘Traditional’ home sell prices rose and have eclipsed the spring of 2017 numbers? Yeah when CEWS ends this is going to be bad. The closing of the pop up restaurant patios will only make it much much worst. I’m thinking well north of 30% unemployment rates here in Toronto come November. The writing is on the wall.

  • Lucas 4 years ago

    How is this article posted without more of a critique about blatant xenophobia in the rhetoric surrounding the real estate market. Simply posting two sentences at the end of the article discussing the lack of correlation between immigration and real estate prices is problematic. That information should be in the headline, and at the forefront of the purpose of the article.

    Otherwise this is buying into the idea that immigrants are the ones coming here and buying all of ‘our’ houses. I expect better.

    • Jason Chau 4 years ago

      That’s a completely different article. There’s a lot of articles and studies that this site has published that show credit availability and slack are the reason prices are able to rise, and not immigration.

      You can’t expect them to explain years of studies every day, because it’s your first day reading about real estate.

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