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Who is investing in condos, and why?

CMHC has published their 2015 Condominium Owners Survey. This is a great report, and I have the highlights below:
Condominium investors in Vancouver and Toronto display stable characteristics over time. Most are small-scale investors that own only one secondary unit, nearly one-half purchased their last secondary unit for rental income and most expect to own their investment property for more than five years, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) 2015 Condominium Owners Survey (COS) released today.

The annual report, focused on the Vancouver and Toronto Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), includes survey insights on what motivates condo purchases, how long owners hold onto their units, and the mortgage-financing profile of condominium owners whose primary dwelling is a freehold or condominium unit but who also own at least one secondary condominium unit. These households are referred to in the report as COS investors.

Report Highlights:

  • Nearly one-half of COS investors purchased their last secondary unit for rental income.
  • About 60% plan to hold onto their last purchases unit for more than 5 years versus 8% planning to sell their unit in less than 2 years.
  • Nearly three quarters have only one unit and roughly 90% do not plan on buying new units in year following the survey.
  • 56% expect their units to appreciate, 35% do not expect a significant change and 5% anticipate a decrease in value.
  • The share of COS investors with a mortgage on their last purchased unit (at the time of the survey) stood at 53 per cent. This is slightly below the share reported for all home owners (59 per cent) in Statistics Canada’s 2011 National Household Survey.

The surveys of Toronto and Vancouver produced similar results. However, a larger share of respondents in Toronto expects the value of their units to increase than in Vancouver, but the gap is closing.

COS investors, as defined by CMHC, exclude households that own only one condominium unit in which they reside, as well as households that own a secondary unit but rent their primary residence.

The complete COS report is available at:
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/corp/nero/nere/2016/2016-04-05-1100.cfm

Lorraine Gingras – RBC Mortgage Specialist

 

 

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