Temporary residents impacting Canadian cities' real estate markets, CMHC analysis finds

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      The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a new report out today (February 7) on a topic it hasn’t written about much before.

      It’s an analysis of non-permanent residents (NPR) in Canada and how this group is impacting real-estate markets, mostly in big cities like Vancouver and Toronto.

      “The number of NPR in Canada has grown at a rapid pace, in particular the number of students and work permit holders,” the report reads.

      CMHC defines this group as “foreign nationals who are lawfully in Canada on a temporary basis,” including, “NPR workers, international students, in-land refugee claimants, and others receiving work visas on humanitarian and compassionate grounds”.

      “In 2015, the composition of students was 51.9% and workers 45.7%,” it adds, noting those numbers have changed a lot over the last 20 years. In 1996, students accounted for 28.9 percent of NPR and workers accounted for 31.4 percent.

      While NPR only account for a small percentage of Canada’s population, they’ve mostly settled in big cities, Vancouver especially.

      Between 2004 and 2015, NPR accounted for 20 percent of population growth in Vancouver, according to the report.

      Evaluating this group’s effect on housing markets, CMHC notes that a majority of NPR are relatively young and therefore are mostly renters.

      “Nevertheless, NPR have the legal right to purchase property, and are doing so,” the report reads. “The share of mortgages held by NPR were most evident in Canada’s major census metropolitan areas. In 2016, 3.9% of mortgages issued in Vancouver were held by NPR, followed by Edmonton (2.9%), Toronto (2.7%), Calgary (2.4%) and Montreal (1.9%).”

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