Canadian Housing Statistics Program, 2019 and 2020
Today, the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) is publishing new data on businesses and governments (such as firms, public institutions, trusts, and other organizations) that owned residential properties in 2019 and 2020. This release provides updated data for Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia, for which data were first released in 2019, and new data for Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Market share shows incremental growth for businesses and governments
Data from the CHSP (see Table 46-10-0053-01) illustrate that the market share of residential properties owned by business and government entities in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia increased incrementally from 2018 to 2020 (see "Note to readers" for the definition of "business and government"). This increase occurred when the population growth of people aged 18 years and older (+3.4%) outpaced the growth in the stock of properties (+2.4%) for these three provinces over the same period. Recent findings from the 2021 Census of Population show that home ownership trended downwards in the provinces concerned.
In 2018, 7.4% of residential properties in Ontario were owned by businesses and governments. That proportion grew to 7.5% in 2019 and 7.6% in 2020. The percentage in 2020 accounted for a total of 375,970 residential properties owned by business and government entities in the province, an increase of 18,485 compared with 2018.
The dynamic was similar in British Columbia, where 10.0% of residential properties were owned by business and government entities in 2020, up from 9.8% in 2019 and 9.7% in 2018. The increase from 2018 to 2020 accounted for an additional 10,520 properties, which brought the total of residential properties owned by businesses and governments in British Columbia to 176,390.
Nova Scotia had a slower growth in business and government property ownership. In 2018, 8.0% of residential properties in the province were held by these owners. This figure increased to 8.1% in 2020.
A higher share of properties owned by businesses and governments in Yukon and Nunavut
The shares of residential properties held by businesses and governments in Nunavut (77.7%) and Yukon (28.4%) in 2020 were significantly greater than those in the provinces for which data were available (10.0% or less). Also, 7.5% of residential property owners in Nunavut were business and government entities, compared with 2.1% or less in the provinces covered.
Condominium apartments constitute 45% of business and government residential holdings in the Vancouver census metropolitan area
In line with previous findings from the CHSP, the new data show that vacant land remained the most common type of property owned by businesses and governments in the provinces and territories, representing at least two-fifths of their residential holdings in 2020.
This finding is consistent among the most populated census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in each province, except in Vancouver, where condominium apartments accounted for 45.4% of business and government residential property holdings in 2020, while vacant land accounted for 18.1%.
Across the different property types, single-detached, semi-detached and row houses constituted from 17.4% (in British Columbia) to 26.4% (in Nova Scotia) of the property stock owned by businesses and governments in 2020. Notably, in British Columbia, the stock of row houses held by businesses and governments grew by 18.5% from 2018 to 2020, compared with 5.3% growth for that of row houses owned by individuals over the same period.
Corporations are dominant among business and government owners
The data show that corporations continued to be the most prevalent owner legal type in 2020, representing at least three-quarters of business and government owners in the provinces and territories covered by the CHSP. In the provinces, corporations owned from 5.7% (in Nova Scotia) to 6.2% (in Manitoba) of the total stock of properties. These proportions varied more significantly in the territories, ranging from 4.7% in Yukon to 9.3% in Nunavut.
In 2020, corporations also tended to own a larger share of residential properties in the largest CMAs than within their respective provincial markets. In Ontario, 77.3% of residential properties owned by businesses and governments were held by corporations, while that figure reached 85.0% in the Toronto CMA. Larger differences were found in British Columbia, where 59.2% of the properties held by businesses and governments were owned by corporations, compared with 87.5% in the Vancouver CMA.
Rapid growth in residential properties held by the real estate and rental and leasing sector
In 2020, excluding public administration, the real estate and rental and leasing sector was the most prevalent among business and government owners in the provinces. The share of properties owned by entities in this sector among businesses and governments ranged from 15.1% in British Columbia to 24.8% in Ontario. This proportion varied more substantially in the territories, from 9.1% in Yukon to 42.4% in Nunavut.
From 2018 to 2020, properties owned by businesses and governments that were active in the real estate and rental and leasing sector increased by 13.3% in Nova Scotia, 5.5% in Ontario and 12.6% in British Columbia, outpacing the growth of the total property stock in their respective provinces (+0.8%, +2.3% and +3.2%, respectively).
Note to readers
The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) currently covers the following provinces and territories: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Data from the CHSP represent the number of properties, not the number of dwellings, which is higher.
Data for Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories are not available at the provincial or territorial level. Accordingly, analyses in this article at the provincial and territorial level are limited to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, Yukon and Nunavut.
In Manitoba, 1.8% of properties had unknown owners in 2020. Statistics related to the total stock of residential properties in this article include those properties for that province.
Data by property type are not available for Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut. As a result, the analyses in this article regarding property type exclude these jurisdictions and their respective census metropolitan areas (CMAs) or census agglomerations (CAs). In addition, the breakdown of property types between semi-detached and row houses is not available for Manitoba.
The population growth of people aged 18 years and older is calculated with data from Table 17-10-0005-01.
The CHSP disseminates data based on the geographical boundaries from the Standard Geographical Classification 2016.
The CHSP database does not contain information about residential properties on Indian reserves.
In the Northwest Territories, data are available only for the Yellowknife CA.
In this release, we use the classification of ownership type, which refers to whether an owner of a residential property is an individual or an entity included in the classification of "business and government" (such as corporations, governments, sole proprietorships and partnerships, and other legal types). This release focuses on this last category of owners, and the properties they owned.
In the context of residential property, assignment of ownership type is as follows: a property is considered owned by an individual if all owners of a property are persons in the ordinary sense of the word. Conversely, properties are deemed owned by a "business and government" if all or some owners are not individuals. The category of "business and government" was previously referred to as "non-individual."
Property type refers to property characteristics and/or dwelling configuration, on which there can be one or more residential structures. Property type includes single-detached houses, semi-detached houses, row houses, condominium apartments, mobile homes, other property types, properties with multiple residential units, and vacant land.
Legal type refers to the legal organization of entities included in the classification of "business and government" (such as corporations, governments, sole proprietorships and partnerships, and other legal types). An organization's legal type determines who is entitled to profits, as well as who is responsible for debts and business-related obligations.
Industry refers to a generally homogeneous group of economic producing units, primarily engaged in a specific set of activities. Sectors of business and government residential property owners include construction, finance and insurance, real estate and rental and leasing, public administration, other sector, and unspecified sector.
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