Nearly 10% of homes in one province were owned by investor-occupants in 2020

May 23 2023, 7:26 pm

A big chunk of homes in one province are owned by so-called “investor-occupants,” meaning they live in one unit while renting out others.

A new Statistics Canada report, titled “A profile of residential real estate investors in 2020,” looks at the demographic characteristics of residential real estate investors in five Canadian provinces to help “clarify the nature of their role in housing markets.”

Residential real estate investors in Canada

The report sorts property owners into three kinds:

  • Investor” – a property owner who doesn’t live in the property as their primary residence;
  • Investor-occupants” – an owner of a single property with multiple residential units, one of which is their primary residence;
  • Non-investors” – property owners who don’t fit into either investor category.
statistics canada

Statistics Canada

According to the report, BC has the highest rate (9.6%) of investor-occupants of all the provinces surveyed, vastly outpacing Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

According to the report, even though “investors can provide needed rental stock, they have also been found to exacerbate house price volatility and can limit housing market access for first-time homebuyers.”

Investor-occupants in Vancouver

The report suggests there’s a “significant presence of investor-occupants” in expensive, urban markets in BC.

High rates of investor-occupants can be produced from incremental forms of density like single-detached houses with secondary suites or laneway homes, duplexes, and triplexes.

housing market

Statistics Canada

In the whole Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) of Vancouver, 12.5% of owners were investor-occupants, but in the City of Vancouver specifically, it was higher at 15.9%.

The report suggests that this could be attributable to municipal efforts in the City of Vancouver to promote incremental density, such as laneway homes, secondary suites and duplexes.

“Investor-occupants had average incomes that were similar to those of non-investors, but lower than investor incomes, in the four CMAs of British Columbia: Abbotsford–Mission, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria,” reads the report.

In the Vancouver CMA, the average investor-occupant income was $65,000, compared to $65,000 for non-investors and $100,000 for in-province investors, according to the report.

Even so, the average assessed value of the properties owned by investor-occupants was typically higher than that for non-investors in BC. And, in Vancouver, properties owned by investor-occupants had an average assessed value 34.7% higher than the properties of non-investors.

You can learn more and check out all the key findings of the report available online from Statistics Canada.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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