Housing Statistics in Canada
Residential property ownership: Real estate holdings by multiple-property owners

by Ellen Bekkering, Jean-Philippe Deschamps-Laporte and Marina Smailes
Investment, Science and Technology Division

Release date: September 27, 2019

Skip to text

Text begins

Description

This article provides information on multiple-property owners in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia whose usual residence is in one of these provinces. This analysis investigates the characteristics of these property owners and their properties. It is based on data from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program for reference year 2018.

Introduction

Homeownership is one of the most significant investments made by Canadians. Previous Statistics Canada studies (Hou 2010; Statistics Canada 2019) have analyzed the profile of single-property owners, but less is known about the characteristics of multiple-property owners.

This article focuses on a subset of multiple-property owners whose usual place of residence is in Nova Scotia, Ontario or British Columbia, and excludes owners who are non-residents of Canada, residents of other provinces and non-individual residential property owners.Note The subset accounts for the majority of multiple-property owners in Ontario (90.0%), British Columbia (81.7%) and Nova Scotia (74.4%), the provinces for which data are currently available. Properties that were not owner-occupied were used to generate income or capital gains (in the case of rental properties and properties bought with the intention of reselling), or for personal use on an occasional basis (e.g., cottages or cabins). Overall, around 1.2 million multiple-property owners were in scope for this article, and they accounted for around 2.1 million properties in the three selected provinces.

This analysis finds that multiple-property owners were concentrated in Toronto and Vancouver, most frequently resided in single-detached houses, and most often owned only one other property in addition to their usual place of residence.

Most multiple-property owners live in Toronto and Vancouver

One of the objectives of the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) is to provide information on the demand for housing to better understand the factors driving residential property values across the country. Previous CHSP releases have established that demand by non-residents tends to be concentrated in certain property markets and types (Gellatly and Morissette 2017). This article goes further by providing information about the source of local housing demand, in particular for owners who own more than one property.

Table 1 shows that, in absolute numbers, most multiple-property owners in Ontario and British Columbia lived in Toronto and Vancouver. The distribution of single-property owners, multiple-property owners and the provincial population was similar in those provinces.


Table 1
Number and distribution of property owners by province and selected census metropolitan areas and outside census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number and distribution of property owners by province and selected census metropolitan areas and outside census metropolitan areas. The information is grouped by Geographic region (appearing as row headers), Multiple-property owners, Distribution of multiple-property owners in the province and Distribution of single-property owners in the province, calculated using number and percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Geographic region Multiple-property owners Distribution of multiple-property owners in the province Distribution of single-property owners in the province
number percentTable 1 Note 1
British Columbia 268,660 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Abbotsford–Mission 8,355 3.1 4.0
Kelowna 11,365 4.2 4.7
Vancouver 143,910 53.6 51.3
Victoria 21,030 7.8 8.6
Outside CMAs 84,000 31.3 31.4
Ontario 835,175 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Hamilton 37,980 4.5 6.0
Kingston 11,545 1.4 1.2
London 24,195 2.9 3.8
Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part) 57,770 6.9 7.7
Toronto 359,475 43.0 40.4
St. Catharines–Niagara 21,810 2.6 3.5
All other CMAs combined 134,825 16.1 17.7
Outside CMAs 187,570 22.5 19.7
Nova Scotia 82,660 Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable
Halifax 29,100 35.2 45.2
Outside CMA 53,560 64.8 54.8

While the highest concentration of multiple-property owners, by far, is in the largest British Columbia and Ontario CMAs, it varies in other geographic areas. In British Columbia, the proportion of multiple-property owners out of all owners who resided in each CMA was fairly consistent, ranging from 15.8% in Vancouver to 12.2% in Abbotsford–Mission. In Ontario, there was a much larger range across the CMAs, going from a high of 21.1% in Thunder Bay to a low of 11.2% in Brantford.

Within the Vancouver and Toronto CMAs, the share of multiple-property owners out of all owners did not reflect the population distribution. In the Vancouver CMA, the proportion of multiple-property owners was highest in the smaller Anmore census subdivision (CSD) (31.0%) and in West Vancouver (27.3%). Similarly, in the Toronto CMA, the highest shares of multiple-property owners were in the King CSD (25.4%) and Richmond Hill CSD (21.0%).

Map 1 Share of multiple-property owners of all owners in the Vancouver and Toronto census metropolitan areas (CMAs) by census subdivision, 2018

Map description

This figure displays two maps with a shared legend. On the left side is a map of the Vancouver CMA and on the right side is a map of the Toronto CMA. The census subdivisions (CSDs) within each respective CMA are coloured from light blue to dark purple to show the share of multiple-property owners in each CSD, with dark purple showing the highest share of multiple-property owners. Category 1 is coloured light blue and represents a share between 8.2% and 12.9%. Category 2 is coloured medium blue and represents a share between 13.0% and 15.4%. Category 3 is coloured indigo and represents a share between 15.5% and 17.3%. Category 4 is coloured medium purple and represents a share between 17.4% and 19.3%. Category 5 is coloured dark purple and represents a share between 19.4% and 31.0%.Category 6 is coloured pale grey and is used for areas outside of the CMA boundary. Finally, Category 7 is diagonal black stripes over a light grey background, which shows areas where data is not available (within the CMA boundary).


Map 1
Share of multiple-property owners of all owners in the Vancouver and Toronto census metropolitan areas (CMAs) by census subdivision, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Share of multiple-property owners of all owners in the Vancouver and Toronto census metropolitan areas (CMAs) by census subdivision. The information is grouped by Census subdivision (appearing as row headers), Share of multiple-property owners of all owners in the census subdivision, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Census subdivision
percent
Vancouver CMA
Anmore 31.0
West Vancouver 27.3
Lions Bay 25.6
Belcarra 24.0
Vancouver 19.3
North Vancouver, district municipality 19.3
Metro Vancouver A 18.6
Bowen Island 18.4
White Rock 17.3
Burnaby 16.6
Delta 16.1
North Vancouver, city 15.9
Coquitlam 15.4
Port Moody 14.8
Surrey 14.2
Richmond 14.0
New Westminster 13.0
Langley, district municipality 12.9
Port Coquitlam 11.5
Maple Ridge 11.0
Pitt Meadows 10.2
Langley, city 8.2
Barnston Island 3 Note ...: not applicable
Burrard Inlet 3 Note ...: not applicable
Capilano 5 Note ...: not applicable
Coquitlam 1 Note ...: not applicable
Coquitlam 2 Note ...: not applicable
Katzie 1 Note ...: not applicable
Katzie 2 Note ...: not applicable
Langley 5 Note ...: not applicable
Matsqui 4 Note ...: not applicable
McMillan Island 6 Note ...: not applicable
Mission 1 Note ...: not applicable
Musqueam 2 Note ...: not applicable
Musqueam 4 Note ...: not applicable
Semiahmoo Note ...: not applicable
Seymour Creek 2 Note ...: not applicable
Tsawwassen Note ...: not applicable
Whonnock 1 Note ...: not applicable
Toronto CMA
King 25.4
Richmond Hill 21.0
Aurora 19.3
Uxbridge 19.0
East Gwillimbury 18.9
Oakville 18.3
Markham 18.2
Mono 18.2
Whitchurch-Stouffville 17.8
Vaughan 17.6
Caledon 17.2
Toronto 16.4
Newmarket 15.5
Mississauga 15.0
Pickering 14.3
Bradford West Gwillimbury 13.8
Halton Hills 13.0
Georgina 12.9
Milton 12.9
New Tecumseth 12.0
Brampton 11.9
Ajax 11.8
Orangeville 9.0
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation Note ...: not applicable

Multiple-property owners share demographic characteristics with single-property owners

In British Columbia and Ontario, while residential property owners tended to be older than people who did not own properties, the age difference between multiple-property and single-property owners was minimal. The median age of multiple-property owners in Ontario (56) and British Columbia (57) was only two years higher than that of single-property owners (54 and 55, respectively). The gap in median age between multiple-property and single-property owners in Nova Scotia was slightly larger, at four years.

Previously released data showed that residential property ownership, in general, tended to be evenly distributed between men and women. This was also the case for the multiple-property ownership.

Most multiple-property owners own two single-detached houses

In the three selected provinces, the majority of multiple-property owners owned two properties. Just over three-quarters of multiple-property owners in British Columbia (76.7%) and Ontario (76.0%) owned two properties, as did 70.2% of multiple-property owners in Nova Scotia.

Chart 1 Distribution of multiple-property owners by number of properties owned, by province, 2018

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for chart 1
Distribution of multiple-property owners by number of properties owned by province, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Distribution of multiple-property owners by number of properties owned by province Two properties, Three properties and Four or more properties, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Two properties Three properties Four or more properties
percent
British Columbia 76.7 15.9 7.4
Ontario 76.0 15.9 8.1
Nova Scotia 70.2 18.6 11.2

Chart 2 shows that, among those who owned two properties and who lived in the provinces’ major CMAs, the most common combination of property types was two single-detached houses. This occurred regardless of where the second property was located in the province, or whether it was owned for rental or recreational purposes, or was vacant.

Chart 2 Share of two-property owners by selected property type combinations for selected census metropolitan areas, 2018

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for chart 2
Share of two-property owners by selected property typeData table Note 1 combinationsData table Note 2 for selected census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Share of two-property owners by selected property type combinations for selected census metropolitan areas Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Vancouver Toronto Halifax
percent
Two single-detached houses 17.9 36.6 45.8
Single-detached house and condominium apartment 15.6 16.4 3.6
Two condominium apartments 8.9 4.6 0.9
Single-detached house and vacant land 3.0 4.7 26.1

The Halifax CMA stands out as having the largest proportion of owners whose two properties were both single-detached houses (45.8%). Because Nova Scotia had comparatively fewer condominium apartments than Ontario and British Columbia, multiple-property combinations containing condominiums were far less common.

The prevalence of the combination of single-detached houses and vacant land properties in Halifax is also notable. In Halifax, this grouping was about nine times more common than in Vancouver, and six times higher than in Toronto. The higher propensity for owners of two properties to own vacant land in Nova Scotia can be explained by the availability of vacant land, as expressed by the relatively larger stock of vacant land and the lower median assessment value of that type of property compared with British Columbia and Ontario.

Most multiple-property owners reside in single-detached houses

The majority of multiple-property owners tended to live in single-detached houses. In Nova Scotia, the vast majority (91.4%) of multiple-property owners occupied a single-detached house, compared with 82.6% in Ontario and 58.1% in British Columbia.

Chart 3 shows that the property type of a multiple-property owner’s usual residence varied across the CMAs. Multiple-property owners in Vancouver and Victoria were the least likely to reside in a single-detached house compared with multiple-property owners in the other CMAs.

Chart 3 Distribution of multiple-property owners by occupied property type for selected census metropolitan areas, 2018

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for chart 3
Distribution of multiple-property owners by occupied property type for selected census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Distribution of multiple-property owners by occupied property type for selected census metropolitan areas. The information is grouped by CMA (appearing as row headers), Single-detached house, Condominium apartment and Properties with multiple residential units, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
CMA Single-detached house Condominium apartment Properties with multiple residential units
percent
Vancouver 51.8 15.9 20.4
Victoria 59.1 8.0 20.3
Toronto 73.9 9.8 0.6
Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part) 78.2 4.9 1.6
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 86.8 2.5 1.7
Halifax 85.9 4.5 4.8

Nearly half of multiple-property owners own all of their properties within the same area in the Toronto and Vancouver CSDs

Although the CHSP has not yet developed indicators to determine whether a property that is not owner-occupied is rented, vacant or used for recreational purposes, comparing the relative location of the properties with an owner’s usual residence can provide some information about the property’s potential usage. In that context, the data show that most owners lived in the same CSD as their other owned properties in the Toronto and Vancouver CSDs. This means that those owners may be more likely to use their other properties for rental purposes, assuming that owners are more likely to have recreational properties outside the area where they live. The data show that nearly half of multiple-property owners who lived in the Vancouver CSD (44.8%), Surrey CSD (45.8%), Richmond CSD (44.2%) and Toronto CSD (46.8%) also owned properties within the same CSD.

Multiple-property owners have higher-valued usual residences

In all three of the selected provinces, multiple-property owners occupied properties that had higher valuations than those occupied by single-property owners. Table 2 provides the median assessment value of an owner’s usual residence by the number of properties they owned in selected CMAs. It shows that the more properties owned, the higher the median assessment value of the owner’s usual residence. Both in absolute and in relative terms, the value difference of single-property and multiple-property owners’ usual residences is greatest in the Vancouver CMA and lowest in the Halifax CMA. Owners of four or more properties in the Vancouver CMA occupied properties that were valued at $634,000 (67.7%) more than those occupied by single-property owners, compared with a difference of $56,000 (22.9%) in Halifax.


Table 2
Median assessment value of the usual residence of single-property owners and multiple-property owners by selected census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Median assessment value of the usual residence of single-property owners and multiple-property owners by selected census metropolitan areas. The information is grouped by Census metropolitan area (appearing as row headers), Single-property owners, Two-property owners, Three-property owners and Four-property or more owners, calculated using dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Census metropolitan area Single-property owners Two-property owners Three-property owners Four-property or more owners
dollars
Vancouver 936,000 1,220,000 1,410,000 1,570,000
Victoria 680,000 794,000 870,000 969,000
Toronto 610,000 736,000 821,000 900,000
Ottawa–Gatineau (Ontario part) 379,000 430,000 459,000 493,000
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 339,000 395,000 427,000 456,000
London 256,000 297,000 324,000 346,000
Halifax 245,000 261,000 277,000 301,000

Multiple-property owners with the highest-value holdings live in Toronto and Vancouver

Comparing the distribution of the total assessment value of properties by the number of properties owned provides information about an owner’s overall holdings.

Multiple-property owners are concentrated in Toronto and Vancouver, and Table 3 shows that the concentration is even greater for multiple-property owners with the highest value of overall property holdings. In Ontario, 86.8% of multiple-property owners with property holdings valued at $10 million or more lived in the Toronto CMA, even though 43.0% of all multiple-property owners lived there.

Similarly, 53.6% of British Columbia’s multiple-property owners lived in the Vancouver CMA, while the majority (78.7%) of multiple-property owners with property holdings valued at $10 million or more resided in that CMA.


Table 3
Number of owners by total assessment value of all properties owned and number of properties owned for selected provinces and census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of owners by total assessment value of all properties owned and number of properties owned for selected provinces and census metropolitan areas. The information is grouped by Total assessment value of properties owned (appearing as row headers), One property, Two properties, Three properties and Four or more properties, calculated using number of owners units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Total assessment value of properties owned One property Two properties Three properties Four or more properties
number of owners
British Columbia
Less than $1 million 1,117,530 69,970 7,635 2,030
$1 million to less than $2 million 312,475 78,930 13,335 4,280
$2 million to less than $5 million 66,995 49,820 17,095 8,250
$5 million to less than $10 million 4,705 5,835 3,605 3,795
$10 million or more 835 1,545 1,045 1,500
Vancouver census metropolitan area (CMA)
Less than $1 million 420,215 9,890 445 80
$1 million to less than $2 million 280,265 47,705 4,840 800
$2 million to less than $5 million 64,515 45,475 13,845 5,280
$5 million to less than $10 million 4,585 5,510 3,440 3,390
$10 million or more 505 990 870 1,360
Ontario
Less than $1 million 4,452,450 416,875 60,010 18,830
$1 million to less than $2 million 227,260 185,515 51,950 24,120
$2 million to less than $5 million 24,000 30,385 19,925 21,420
$5 million to less than $10 million 860 1,550 1,030 2,555
$10 million or more 910 440 205 375
Toronto CMA
Less than $1 million 1,665,275 90,520 5,485 845
$1 million to less than $2 million 212,790 154,540 31,980 7,475
$2 million to less than $5 million 23,210 28,580 18,270 16,235
$5 million to less than $10 million 845 1,465 980 2,215
$10 million or more 905 375 195 315

Although the Toronto and Vancouver CMAs had the largest share of multiple-property owners and of high-value multiple-property owners in their respective provinces, Chart 4 shows that, compared with owners in the Toronto CMA, the Vancouver CMA had a greater proportion of owners with high-valued property holdings for each category.

Chart 4 Share of owners by assessment value category and number of properties owned, Vancouver and Toronto census metropolitan areas, 2018

Data table for Chart 4 
Data table for chart 4
Share of owners by total assessment value category and number of properties owned, Vancouver and Toronto census metropolitan areas, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Share of owners by total assessment value category and number of properties owned Less than $1 million, $1 million to less than $2 million, $2 million to less than $5 million, $5 million to less than $10 million and $10 million or more, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Less than $1 million $1 million to less than $2 million $2 million to less than $5 million $5 million to less than $10 million $10 million or more
percent
Vancouver - One property 54.6 36.4 8.4 0.6 0.1
Toronto - One property 87.5 11.2 1.2 0.0 0.1
Vancouver - Two properties 9.0 43.5 41.5 5.0 0.9
Toronto - Two properties 32.9 56.1 10.4 0.5 0.1
Vancouver - Three properties 1.9 20.7 59.1 14.7 3.7
Toronto - Three properties 9.6 56.2 32.1 1.7 0.3
Vancouver - Four or more properties 0.7 7.3 48.4 31.1 12.5
Toronto - Four or more properties 3.1 27.6 59.9 8.2 1.2

Note to readers

The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), launched in 2017, provides information on residential property ownership in Canada. This framework leverages administrative data collected from private and public data sources. This information is used by Canadians in a number of ways, including by policy makers to design programs that answer economic and societal needs, by academics to develop new knowledge, and by businesses and individuals who have interests in the real estate market.

In this release, people who own multiple residential properties are people whose name is on the property title of more than one residential property within a given province. For the purposes of this release, people who owned one property in a given province and second property in another province were not included among multiple-property owners at this time. After the CHSP has integrated information from all provinces and territories, this concept will be updated to take into account people who own properties in more than one province.

Demographic analysis of individual resident owners, including birth year and sex, considers the population where demographic information is known and excludes unspecified values when calculating shares so that total shares equal 100%. Demographic information is provided at the owner level and provides details on owner counts and distribution, regardless of their co-ownership status.

References

Gellatly, Guy, and René Morissette. 2017. “Non-resident Ownership of Residential Properties in Toronto and Vancouver: Initial Information from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program.” Economic Insights. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Hou, Feng. 2010. Homeownership over the Life Course of Canadians: Evidence from Canadian Censuses of Population. Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, no. 325. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11F0019M. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada. 2019. “Canadian Housing Statistics Program, 2018.” The Daily.June 11, 2019. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.


Date modified: