Immigrants Buying More Homes

Traditionally, newcomers to Canada rent more often, and for longer periods, than do their Canadian-born neighbours. But times they are a-changing... immigrant families are playing catch up in the home buyer market.

Recent census data shows that in 2006, almost 72% of immigrants live in a dwelling owned by a household member - up from 68% in 2001... That's a bigger increase than Canadian-born homeowners experienced, as stated in a new report by Scotia Economic.

Home ownership rates among all immigrant groups increased between 2001 and 2006 - no matter how long they'd been living in Canada.

The biggest increase was among those living in Canada for less than a decade, and "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, 2001-2005." [pdf]

Condo Dwellers

Immigrants are driving much growth in the condominium markets, for the following reasons:

  • The lower price of condos is attractive to younger, first time homebuyers; and the average age of immigrants in Canada is younger relative to the general population
  • Immigrants have a greater tendency to live in major urban centres (69% chose Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver) where most condo living is done

For these reasons, immigrants are more likely to buy a condo than native-born Canadians are. And condos account for more than one-quarter of the increase in the number of Canadian homeowners between 2001 and 2006," says Adrienne Warren, senior economist with Scotiabank.

Immigrants in Canada are pushing up home building starts, too - as reported by a UK website that covers issues pertaining to migration to Canada.

As Baby Boomers downsize and head into retirement homes - and the average native Canadian has fewer offspring all the time - just who is going to drive home sales in this country?

New Canadians, that's who!

Do you have any stories to share about being an immigrant and buying a home in Canada? Please leave them here below in the comments section!

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