The share of foreign ownership in condominium apartments remains low in major Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). This analysis is the result of combined insight from two Housing Market Insight reports released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation today.

National Report Highlights

  • Foreign ownership of condominiums was highest in Vancouver and Toronto at 2.2% and 2.3%, respectively. However, both markets saw a decline in share of foreign ownership compared to last year.
  • The 2016 shares in both Vancouver and Toronto were more in line with those in 2014. The relatively higher shares observed in 2015 were due to an unusually high proportion of foreign ownership in newly constructed condominiums that year relative to 2014 and 2016.
  • Foreign ownership in Montréal remained relatively stable at 1.1%. Foreign ownership remains higher in Downtown Montréal and Nuns’ Island, at 4.3%.
  • Outside of the above mentioned CMAs, the share of foreign owners ranged from a low of 0.2% in Saskatoon and Regina to a high of 1.2% in Halifax.
  • Foreign ownership continues to be higher among newer and larger buildings in the central areas of Toronto and Vancouver. In Toronto, the share of foreign ownership rose to 3.9% in buildings completed since 2010 and in buildings with more than 500 units, it rose to 5.5%. In Vancouver, newer buildings saw a 5.0% share of foreign owners while buildings with more than 100 units reported 3.2% share of foreign owners.

The commercial real estate market in the Lower Mainland remained active in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016, according to data from Commercial Edge, a commercial real estate system operated by the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV).

There were 645 commercial real estate sales registered in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2016. This represents a 6.3 per cent increase from the 607 sales in Q3 2015.

The total dollar value of commercial real estate sales in the Lower Mainland in Q3 2016 was $2.399 billion, a 1.9 per cent decline from the $2.445 billion in Q3 2015.

“While we saw some declines in office and retail sales this quarter, overall demand in the commercial market remains steady thanks to healthy economic growth in our province so far this year,” said Dan Morrison, REBGV president. “It was the busiest third quarter in the last five years for sales in our commercial market.”

Q3 2016 activity by category

Land: There were 255 commercial land sales in Q3 2016, which is a 23.8 per cent increase from the 206 land sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of land sales in Q3 2016 was $1.306 billion, a 46.4 per cent increase over $892 million in Q3 2015. 

Office and Retail: There were 203 office and retail sales in Q3 2016, which is an 8.1 per cent decrease from the 221 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of office and retail sales in Q3 2016 was $438 million, a 45.4 per cent decrease from $802 million in Q3 2015.

Industrial: There were 153 industrial land sales in Q3 2016, which is up 15.9 per cent over the 132 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of industrial sales in Q3 2016 was $335 million, a 17.3 per cent increase over $286 million in Q3 2015.

Multi-Family: There were 34 multi-family sales in Q3 2016, which is a 29.2 per cent decrease from the 48 sales in Q3 2015. The dollar value of multi-family sales in Q3 2016 was $321 million, a 31.2 per cent decrease from $466 million in Q3 2015.


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released its third quarter financial results today as well as supplemental data on the Corporation’s Mortgage Loan Insurance, Securitization, and Covered Bonds business activities.

CMHC’s mortgage loan insurance and securitization guarantee programs operate on a commercial basis without support from Canadian taxpayers. During the quarter, CMHC generated $331 million in net income from these activities.


Report Highlights

  • During the third quarter, CMHC facilitated access to mortgage financing by providing mortgage loan insurance for 127,991 units across the country, up 26.8% from the same period last year.
  • At September 30, 2016, the size of CMHC’s mortgage insurance business was $514 billion in total insurance-in-force, a $9 billion decrease from the previous quarter. This is still well below CMHC’s legislated insurance-in-force limit of $600 billion.
  • The average equity Canadian homeowners hold in their property also increased slightly in the third quarter to 34.8% from 34.4% in the previous quarter.
  • Homebuyers with CMHC-insured mortgages have a strong ability to manage their debts as supported by an average credit score of 751 for transactional homeowner loans and an average gross debt service (GDS) ratio of 25.7% for the three-months ended September 30, 2016.
  • The strength of CMHC’s portfolio is reflected in the overall arrears rate which, as at September 30, 2016, stood at 0.32%, unchanged from the previous quarter. Total number of loans in arrears was 8,286 as at September 30, 2016.
  • New securities guaranteed for the third quarter totalled $43.1 billion, comprised of $32.9 billion for market NHA MBS and $10.2 billion for CMB.

Consistent with our mandate, CMHC is present in all markets and through all economic cycles.


CMHC also works closely with provinces, territories and housing providers, including First Nations, to help low-income Canadians access affordable, better quality housing. For the three-month period ended September 30, 2016, CMHC provided more than $531 million for housing programs on behalf of the Government of Canada.


The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) released its 2016 Fourth Quarter Housing Forecast today.

Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in the province are forecast to climb 11 per cent to a record 113,800 units this year, eclipsing the previous record of 106,310 units in 2005. Less robust economic conditions combined with government policy constraints are expected to slow housing demand by more than 15 per cent to 96,300 units in 2017. However, housing demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average of 85,000 unit sales. “Housing demand across the province is expected to moderate next year as declining affordability related to rising prices and government policy interventions limit the number of eligible buyers,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, while home sales are not expected to repeat this year’s record performance, consumer demand is expected to remain well above the ten-year average.”

The average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to increase 9.8 per cent to $698,900 this year. The supply of homes for sale is expected to trend higher next year as moderating demand is met with added new home completions. A trend toward more balance in the market will unfold next year and exert less upward pressure on home prices. In addition, a larger contraction in the number high-end home sales will contribute to moving the aggregate average price statistic lower. As a result, the average MLS® residential price in the province is forecast to decline 6.4 per cent to $654,200 in 2017.


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Over the last several months, housing experts, stakeholders, and Canadians from all walks of life participated in “Let’s Talk Housing” consultations and shared their views to help shape a National Housing Strategy (NHS) that will strive to improve the lives of those in greatest need.


On the occasion of National Housing Day, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), today released a “What We Heard” from Canadians report.


This summary report takes stock of the consultations, identifies emerging themes and highlights exciting ideas to help define the future of housing in Canada.


The national consultations explored new and innovative ways of responding to persistent housing challenges, including ways to improve housing outcomes for Canadians as a cornerstone for achieving broader socio-economic objectives.


“Ensuring that Canadians have access to affordable housing, with all of the socio-economic benefits that come with it, is a key priority for the Government of Canada. The input and ideas we received from Canadians will be invaluable in helping to shape a National Housing Strategy that delivers better housing, socio-economic and environmental outcomes for all Canadians.”
— The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Quick Facts

  • To ensure that we heard from people who have been homeless or are living in subsidized housing, newcomers to Canada and persons with disabilities, among others, focus groups were held across the country.
  • The Government of Canada, through CMHC, sought the input of provinces and territories who held their own consultations, and provided their ideas on the future of housing in Canada. CMHC hosted a series of expert roundtables on themes ranging from housing finance and data to social inclusion and sustainability.
  • CMHC also sought the advice and input of key national housing stakeholders, and held roundtables on rural, remote and urban Indigenous housing, as well as northern housing.
Online NHS Engagement ActivitiesLevelof Engagement
Let’sTalk Housing NHS Survey 6,351 completed surveys
Idea Sharing Platform 132 ideas submitted
OnlineWritten Submission Uploads 478 written submissions
Social Media Comments — #LetsTalkHousing 1905 ideas on social media


Targeted NHS Engagement ActivitiesLevel of Engagement
Let’s Talk Housing Expert and Stakeholder Roundtables 22 roundtables
Focus Groups with Vulnerable Peoples 21 focus groups
Public Opinion Research 8 focus groups
MP Townhalls 10 Townhall meetings
Bilateral meetings and forums with Indigenous organizations 15 Bilateral meetings and forums

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Royal Bank (TSX:RY) is hiking mortgage rates and making it more expensive for homebuyers who want to take more than 25 years to pay back their loan.

The bank is raising its special offer for a five-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.94 per cent, an increase of 30 basis and 25 basis points, respectively.

The lender is also raising its special offer for a four-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.79 per cent and three-year fixed rate mortgage to 2.69 per cent, increases of 30 and 25 basis points, respectively.

The company is also introducing new rates for homebuyers who opt for an amortization period longer than 25 years.

The special offer rates for three, four and five-year fixed rate mortgages are 10 basis points higher than for those with an amortization of 25 years or less.

The changes take effect Thursday November 17 2016.


According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales were up on a month-over-month basis in October 2016.



  • National home sales rose 2.4% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 2.0% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October 2016.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 1.7% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in October was up 14.6% y-o-y.
  • The national average sale price climbed 5.9% y-o-y.

The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose 2.4 percent month-over-month in October 2016.


Activity was up on a month-over-month basis about 60 percent of all local markets, led by the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton-Burlington and Montreal.


“The expanded stress-test for home buyers who need mortgage default insurance took effect in the middle of October,” said CREA President Cliff Iverson. “More time will need to pass before its effect on housing markets can be gauged. The extent to which they will push first-time home buyers to the sidelines may vary among housing markets. All real estate is local, and REALTORS® remain your best source for information about sales and listings where you live or might like to in the future.”


“First-time home buyers looking to get into the market before having to face tougher mortgage eligibility criteria had only two weeks to do so following the Finance Minister’s announcement of tighter mortgage regulations in early October,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “Early evidence suggests that the influence of tighter mortgage regulations on sales activity has been mixed. The federal government will no doubt want to monitor the effect of new mortgage regulations on the many varied housing markets across Canada and on the economy, particularly given the recent rise in uncertainty about economic growth prospects following the U.S. presidential election.”


Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity rose 2 percent y-o-y in October 2016 to set a record for the month, edging out the previous record set back in October 2009 by just 0.8 percent.


Transactions were up from year-ago levels in about 60 percent of all Canadian markets, with activity gains in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and environs offset by y-o-y declines in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.


The number of newly listed homes climbed 1.7 percent in October 2016 compared to September. Led by a marked increase in the GTA, new listings were up from the previous month in about 60 percent of all local markets.


With sales having risen by slightly more than new listings in October, the national sales-to-new listings ratio edged higher to 62.9 percent compared to 62.4 percent in September.


A sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 percent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets respectively.


The ratio was above 60 percent in half of all local housing markets in October, the vast majority of which continue to be located in British Columbia, in and around the Greater Toronto Area and across Southwestern Ontario. The ratio has moved out of sellers’ market territory and into the mid-50 percent range in Greater Vancouver.


The number of months of inventory is another important measure of the balance between housing supply and demand. It represents the number of months it would take to completely liquidate current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.


There were 4.5 months of inventory on a national basis at the end of October 2016 – the lowest level in almost 7 years.


The tight balance between housing supply and demand in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region is without precedent (including the GTA, Hamilton-Burlington, Oakville-Milton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford, the Niagara Region, Barrie and nearby cottage country). In October, the number of months of inventory ranged between one and two months in many of these housing markets, and has slipped to below one month in Mississauga, the Durham Region, Orangeville, Cambridge and Guelph.


The Aggregate Composite MLS® HPI rose by 14.6 percent y-o-y in October 2016, up from 14.4 percent in September.


On a y-o-y basis, price growth accelerated for two-storey single family homes and apartment units while slowing for townhouse/row units.


Benchmark prices for two-storey single family homes and townhouse/row units posted the biggest y-o-y gains in October 2016 (16.7 percent and 16.0 percent respectively). Price increases were not far behind for one-storey single family homes (14.0 percent) and apartment units (11.4 percent).


While prices in 9 of the 11 markets tracked by the MLS® HPI posted y-o-y gains in October, increases continue to vary widely among housing markets.


Greater Vancouver (+24. 8 percent) and the Fraser Valley (+32.5 percent) posted the largest y-o-y gains, although single family home prices in both of these markets are now off peak.


Double-digit y-o-y percentage price gains were also registered in Greater Toronto (+19.7 percent), Victoria (+20.1 percent) and Vancouver Island (+15.8 percent).


By contrast, prices were down 4.1 percent y-o-y in Calgary. Although home prices there have held mostly steady since May, they have been below year-ago levels since August 2015 and are down 5.1 percent from the peak reached in January 2015.


Home prices also edged lower by 1.3 percent y-o-y in Saskatoon. Home prices in Saskatoon have also held below year-ago levels since August 2015.


Meanwhile, home prices posted y-o-y gains in Regina (+4.5 percent), Ottawa (+3.0 percent), Greater Moncton (+2.8 percent) and Greater Montreal (+2.6 percent).


The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) provides the best way of gauging price trends because average price trends are prone to being strongly distorted by changes in the mix of sales activity from one month to the next.

The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in October 2016 was up 5.9 percent y-o-y to $481,994.


The national average price continues to be pulled upward by sales activity in Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, which remain two of Canada’s tightest, most active and expensive housing markets.


That said, Greater Vancouver’s share of national sales activity has diminished considerably of late, resulting in it having less upward influence on the national average price. Even so, the average price is reduced by more than $120,000 to $361,012 if Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto sales are excluded from calculations.



The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that 7,272 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in October, down 16.7 per cent from the same month last year. Total sales dollar volume was $4.4 billion in October, down 24.2 per cent compared to the previous year. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $606,787, a decline of 9.1 per cent compared to the same month last year.

“Housing demand remained mixed across the province in October,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Home sales across the Lower Mainland were down from the elevated levels of one year ago, but stabilized on a month to month basis. In contrast, home sales on Vancouver Island and in the interior of the province continue to post strong year-over-year gains.”

“The decline in the average residential price reflects a smaller proportion of transactions in the province originating in Vancouver,” added Muir. Home sales through the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver fell to 31.4 percent of BC transactions last month, compared to 42.6 per cent a year ago.

Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume increased 27.4 per cent to $70.4 billion, when compared with the same period in 2015. Residential unit sales climbed by 15 per cent to 101,069 units, while the average MLS® residential price was up 10.8 per cent to $696,992.



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The trend measure of housing starts in Canada was 199,920 units in October compared to 199,262 in September, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The trend is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“In October, housing starts remained stable, as the trend remained essentially unchanged from September,” said Bob Dugan, CMHC Chief Economist. “While apartment starts are on a downward trend in British Columbia after reaching an all-time high at the beginning of the year, increased construction of single, semi-detached and row units in the rest of the country have helped offset the decline.”

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of the state of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR for all areas in Canada was 192,928 units in October, down from 219,363 units in September. The SAAR of urban starts decreased by 12.1 per cent in October to 176,131 units. Multiple urban starts decreased by 15.3 per cent to 115,402 units in October and single-detached urban starts decreased by 5.4 per cent to 60,729 units.

In October, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased in British Columbia, Quebec, the Prairies, and in Atlantic Canada, but increased in Ontario.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16,797 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data is also available in English and French at the following link: Preliminary Housing Starts Tables

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

Reciprocity Logo The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Greater Vancouver REALTORS® (GVR), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the GVR, the FVREB or the CADREB.