Fewer Immigrants? But They Buy Homes

There is an election next month for a new mayor of Toronto - the largest housing market in Canada. The current front runner for the job, Rob Ford, has gone on record in recent weeks decrying the influx of immigration to that city, and how the coffers of City Hall can no longer support as many immigrants as are expected to take up residence in Toronto over the next decade.

immigrant family homeownersWhat I wonder is, can Toronto afford NOT to take in those immigrants? What Rob Ford and others (close to half of his supporters agree with his stance on immigration) may be overlooking is just how many of those immigrants bring with them money and are willing to invest that money in Canadian properties - a real boost in the arm for our economy as it keeps the housing market, and thus the economy, flush.

This month in The Globe and Mail, in his article titled, "Asian Investors Keep GTA Flush...", Terence Belford quoted a Toronto developer observing that some 80% of new condo buyers are Asian (and the majority of those from mainland China). CENTURY 21 Canada has long recognized this reality - in fact, we launched our website, Century21.ca, in Chinese eight months ago.

No doubt, the scenario is not much different for resale homes - with a large share being purchased by immigrants. That applies to recent newcomers to Canada, not just longer-term immigrants. “The degree of home ownership attained by immigrants just six months after landing in Canada is impressive," says the federal housing agency, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in its Feb. 2009 study, "Settling In: Newcomers in the Housing Market."(PDF)

Mayoral hopeful Rob Ford may want to consider the health of the housing market before he makes further statements about curbing immigration to Toronto.

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