Foreign Investors Are Scooping New Condo Supply In Toronto and Vancouver… Again

Toronto and Vancouver condos are starting to attract foreign buyers again… at least the newer inventory is. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data show a mixed movement in 2020. Toronto’s total rate of non-resident condo ownership declined, while Vancouver’s increased. Both cities are still seeing non-resident ownership of new supply climb though.

Foreign Buyers Own Over 1 in 20 New Condo Units In Toronto

The City of Toronto saw a decline in the total number of condos held by non-resident owners last year. Non-residents owned 3.1% of the city’s condos in 2020, down from 3.3% the year before. In terms of condo units, non-residents owned 9,686, down 2.4% over the same period. It would appear older supply is being sold off at a faster rate than it’s being bought.

Toronto Condo Rate of Non-Resident Ownership

The rate of non-resident ownership of condos in the City of Toronto. Shown for year of build, as well the overall rate.

Source: CMHC; Better Dwelling.

Foreign buyers owned a significant amount of newer condo construction. In 2020, non-residents owned 5.4% of condos built after 2010 in the City, down from 5.7% in 2019. In absolute terms, that works out to 6,903 units made after 2010, up 2.51% from a month before. The rate fell, but the actual number of units owned by non-resident investors saw an increase. Over 1 in 20 condos made after 2010 are owned by non-residents.

Vancouver Sees Foreign Ownership of Condos Rise, But Is Still Much Lower Than 2018

The City of Vancouver is actually seeing the rate of non-resident ownership rise. The rate increased to 1.9% in 2020, up from 1.5% the year before. In terms of absolute units, 1,850 condos were owned by non-residents last year, up 31.4% from a year before. Non-resident ownership of condos increased by 1 unit for every 10 added to the market last year.

Vancouver Condo Rate of Non-Resident Ownership

The rate of non-resident ownership of condos in the City of Vancouver. Shown for year of build, as well the overall rate. Plots without data have been suppressed by the CMHC to protect confidentiality or they considered the data not statistically reliable.

Source: CMHC; Better Dwelling.

Non-residents displayed a preference for post-2010 condo builds as well. In 2020, non-residents owned 2.4% of condos built after 2010, up from 1.0% a year before. In terms of units, this works out to 584 condos, up 177.6% from a year before. Surprisingly units built from 1990 to 2000 had a higher rate of ownership. 

Toronto and Vancouver are divergent on the growth of non-resident condo investment. On one hand, Toronto saw the overall rate of non-resident ownership fall. As for Vancouver, it’s begun to climb again, but still has a long way to go to get to 2018 numbers. That said, newer condo developments are attracting more non-resident investment these days.

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