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Non-resident ownership and participation in B.C., Ontario & Nova Scotia

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Non-resident ownership and participation in B.C., Ontario & Nova Scotia

The presence of non-resident owners on Canada’s housing market is a subject that continues to generate a lot of interest. Our latest Housing Market Insight (HMI) takes a new look at non-resident ownership. Using data from Statistics Canada, we look at non-resident participation in British Columbia (B.C.), Ontario and Nova Scotia. We also examine the number of owners for each residential property in the 3 provinces.

What is non-resident participation?

A property is classified as having non-resident participation when at least 1 of its owners is a non-resident of Canada.

This means that “non-resident participation” is a broader measure than, “non-resident ownership.” The second term is used for a property only when the majority (or all) of its owners are non-residents.

To clarify, let’s take a property with 3 owners. Of the owners, let’s say 2 are residents of Canada and 1 is a non-resident. This property would have non-resident participation, but not non-resident ownership. 

Highlights on non-resident participation 

Here’s what we found out about non-resident participation in B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia: 

  • In the 3 provinces, 3.3% to 6.2% of properties have non-resident participation.
  • Non-resident ownership in B.C. and Ontario is more common in newer properties with higher median assessment values. 
  • In the same 2 provinces, looking at all property types, non-resident ownership and participation are highest in condominium apartments. 
  • In B.C., the percentage of condominium apartments that had non-resident participation was highest in Vancouver. In Ontario, it was highest in Toronto. 
  • Non-resident ownership in Ontario was highest in Kingston, Windsor and St. Catharines-Niagara, all of which are near the United States border.

A look at the number of owners per property 

In B.C., Ontario, and Nova Scotia, about half of all residential properties have 2 owners. A slightly smaller percentage have 1 owner. Residential properties with 3 or more owners account for only a small share of residential properties in the 3 provinces:

  • In B.C., 3.5%
  • In Ontario, 2.4%
  • In Nova Scotia, 4.5%

There are, however, differences when the data is broken down by property type and census metropolitan area (CMA).