Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Foreigners Own More Canadian Condos Than Thought

The most detailed Canadian government housing study to date shows non-residents own 7.9 percent of the condominiums in Vancouver and 7.2 percent in Toronto, a higher share than previously thought.

For all types of real estate, foreigners owned 4.8 percent of properties in Vancouver and 3.4 percent in Toronto, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday. The purchases tended to be concentrated in downtown condos in both cities.

The Ottawa-based agency is stepping up reporting efforts on housing in Canada’s two most expensive markets after foreign buyers were blamed for pushing prices beyond what many residents could afford. Officials have consistently cited gaps in the data that made it difficult to pinpoint who was buying homes.

Condos accounted for about 44 percent of foreign property ownership in Toronto, and 53 percent in Vancouver. 

The figures reported Tuesday were gathered as of May 2017 for Toronto, the month after the provincial government announced measures to cool the market. For Vancouver they were compiled as of June 2017.

— With assistance by Erik Hertzberg

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