Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (“CMHC”) recently released data concerning foreign ownership of condominium units in Canada.

The survey conducted by CMHC indicates that foreign ownership in Canada increased in 2015 over 2014 in Toronto Centre (from 4.3% to 5.8%), Vancouver City (from 3.4% to 5.4%) and Winnipeg (from 0.1% to 2.7%). However, foreign ownership in Canada is not as high as has been frequently speculated in the past, based on anecdotal evidence and studies conducted by real estate brokers.

Fears have been voiced in the media that foreign ownership of condominium units could raise the price of units, making them less affordable for local residents. Concerns have also been expressed that “foreign investment may be more mobile and subject to capital flight, thereby increasing volatility in Canadian housing markets”.

CMHC obtained its data by means of telephone interviews with condominium property managers and boards in 16 Census Metropolitan Areas. For the purpose of the survey, a foreign owner was defined as someone whose primary residence is located outside of the Canada. This definition will include Canadian citizens who are not currently living in Canada.

Click here to read the full CMHC report.