Half of BC’s New Condos Apartments Are Investor Owned

Investors scooped nearly half of the new condo supply in British Columbia (BC). Statistics Canada (Stat Can) data reveals investor ownership of property using 2020 tax data. Isolating construction dates, we can see that investors focused primarily on new construction built in 2016 or later. Big cities, small ones, and even rural markets—saw investors capture up to 90% of the recently constructed condo supply. 

Half of BC’s New Condos Are Investor Owned

BC is home to some of the priciest real estate in the world, but that isn’t holding investors back. Nearly half (48.9%) of condos made from 2016 or later, were investor-owned in 2020. Even in Vancouver CMA, where most of the building is concentrated, the share was similar (48.1%) to the province-wide trend. Better than Ontario and Toronto, but not something that was seen before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) sparked a low rate era. 

Nearly Half of BC’s New Condos Are Investor Owned  

The share of newly constructed condo apartments (2016 or later) owned by investors in 2020.

Source: Statistics Canada; Better Dwelling.

Investor Market Share Is Consistent Across Major Cities 

The trend was fairly consistent across the province. Abbotsford has seen almost 3 in 5 (59.2%) of new condos held by investors. They owned about half of recent construction in Victoria (49.3%), and Kelowna (51.4%). This is a ton of units, especially since this doesn’t capture investor assignment flipping. These are owners of the property, declaring their investment position. 

Investors Own Up To 90% of New Condo Apartments In Small Cities

BC’s smaller cities aren’t immune to the trend, where it appears most units are built for investors. Take Fort St. John, for instance where 9 in 10 (90.0%) new condos are owned by investors. It’s slightly better in places like Vernon (69.2%), and Squamish (63.8%)— but not much. Even outside of cities, 7 in 10 (69.5%) new condos in rural regions were investor owned in 2020. 

A lot to take away from the data, but two things stand out—the volume and timeline. This is a mindblowing share of homes purchased by investors, with the share only paling in comparison only to Ontario.  

Also, this trend didn’t start with the massive surge of investor buying activity in the resale market in 2021. The data is from tax records in 2020, meaning the positioning of investors had already happened to a much greater extent than seen in previous generations. It’s also a myth that it’s just a Vancouver and Victoria issue—investors are being priced out of major cities, and seeking to inflate prices in lesser known regions. It’s a trend observed during every real estate bubble, but maybe it’s different this time. It usually isn’t. 

4 Comments

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  • Andy 12 months ago

    Can you name the top 5 investors?

  • george 12 months ago

    Thanks to the banks, governments, FIRE industry to make all this happen 🙁
    Go for 100% investor’s owned….common, you can do it, there is nothing in your way 🙂

  • Ron Bruce 12 months ago

    It looks like investing in the stock market or your business is too risky. Warehousing people is the best investment vehicle as long as there is a bubble.

  • Rob 12 months ago

    Investing in real estate in the current climate is the only thing worse than not owning a home.

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