Canadian real estate prices didn’t rise on fundamentals, so why would a change make a difference? Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data shows Canadian population growth was flat in Q3 2020. Two provinces, home to the country’s busiest markets, weren’t lucky enough to be flat though. Both B.C. and Ontario saw declines from the previous quarter.
Canadian Population Growth Is Flat From The Previous Quarter
Canada’s high population growth ground to a halt. The population was estimated at 38,008,005 in Q3 2020, up just 0.01% from the previous quarter. That works out to an increase of just 2,767 more people across the country. Compared to the same quarter last year, the population is 0.54% higher. This is the lowest rate of annual growth since at least the 1950s, but likely goes back much further.
Canadian Population Growth
The annual percent change of Canada’s population.Source: Statistics Canada, Better Dwelling.
Ontario’s Population Was In Decline Last Quarter
Ontario’s real estate markets are booming, but it has nothing to do with population growth. The province’s population was estimated to be 14,733,119 in Q3 2020, down 0.01% from the previous quarter. That works out to a net-loss of about 895 people from the previous quarter. Compared to the same quarter last year, the population is just 0.65% higher. This level of annual growth is rarely seen in the province, but it did happen recently – in Q2 2015. Other than that though, it’s been a while!
BC’s Population Is Declining Even Faster Than Ontario
British Columbia is seeing one of the bigger quarterly declines across the country. The province’s population fell to 5,145,851 in Q3 2020, down 0.04% from the previous quarter. This works out to a net loss of 1,861 people, almost double the one Ontario saw. Compared to last year, the population is about 0.39% higher. This is the lowest annual growth the province has seen since at least 1950.
Canada’s population growth was flat, and this is attributed to immigration. While some believe this should be resolved soon, some experts don’t see it that way. RBC economists have forecasted the decline in immigration is likely to persist until at least 2022. Closed borders and a soft employment market are likely to make it more difficult to attract talent near term.
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