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More than one in ten homeowners in Canada’s three largest urban centres owns multiple properties

More than one in ten homeowners in Canada’s three largest urban centres owns multiple properties

Highlights:

  • 14% of homeowners in Greater Vancouver, 13% in the Greater Toronto Area and 12% in the Greater Montreal Area own more than one property
  • More than 40% of secondary property owners in the greater regions of Vancouver and Toronto, and 21% in the Greater Montreal Area, used equity from their primary residence to make the purchase
  • 65% of secondary property owners in Greater Vancouver, 64% in the Greater Toronto Area and 35% in the Greater Montreal Area, are collecting rental income, at least some of the time


TORONTO, July 28, 2021 –


According to a recent Royal LePage survey[1] of 1,500 homeowners in Canada’s three largest urban centres – Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Greater Montreal Area (GMA) and Greater Vancouver (GV) – more than ten per cent of Canadians polled currently own more than one property (13% in GTA, 12% in GMA, 14% in GV).


“While some secondary properties are used for recreational purposes, many of these homes are foundational to Canada’s critical supply of rental housing,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Entrepreneurial landlords supply housing to the thirty per cent of Canadians who rent, be they new immigrants, students, young people entering the labour force, or those who cannot or choose not to own their home.”


Twenty-one per cent of secondary property owners in the Greater Montreal Area say they used equity from their primary residence to complete the purchase. That number doubles (42%) in the greater regions of Toronto and Vancouver, where home prices are significantly higher.


When asked about the purpose of their secondary properties, more than two thirds of respondents in Greater Vancouver (65%) and the Greater Toronto Area (64%) said they were collecting rental income, if only some of the time. In the Greater Montreal Area, that number decreased to 35 per cent.


Witnessing home values across the country rising to new heights, younger Canadians who are financially able to purchase one home are confident in purchasing a secondary property as an investment. Eighteen per cent of homeowners aged 18 to 35 in the Greater Toronto Area own more than one property. In the Greater Montreal Area and Greater Vancouver, 16 per cent and 14 per cent of that age group own more than one property, respectively.   


Greater Toronto Area


In the Greater Toronto Area, 27 per cent of secondary property owners said they were not collecting any rental income at all, while 49 per cent said they are using the unit solely as a rental property. Fifteen per cent said they were using the property some of the time and renting it out some of the time. Seven per cent of respondents said their secondary properties are currently vacant.


“Canadian homeowners believe in the value of real estate because they have seen their investments grow over time,” said Karen Millar, sales representative, Royal LePage Signature Realty. “People feel confident investing in real estate because it is a physical entity that they can experience. Although the market may see peaks and valleys, homes have historically generated wealth in the long run.”


In the Greater Toronto Area, 18 per cent of homeowners aged 18 to 35 currently own more than one property, while 11 per cent of homeowners over the age of 35 own more than one property.


“Young buyers are looking to capitalize on the real estate market by investing in a property that will appreciate over time. I have many younger clients who have purchased condos or smaller homes for as little as $300,000 outside of Toronto, in areas like Guelph and London, where the rental market is very active among students,” added Millar.

“Parents of students in Ontario’s university towns are also taking advantage of the local rental market, purchasing a property – often times with multiple units – for their children to stay in while studying and also as a source of rental income from other students.”


A recent Royal LePage survey of Canadian boomers (chart), those born between 1946 and 1965, found that 54 per cent of the cohort in the Greater Toronto Area have at least half (50%) of their net wealth in real estate. Twenty-nine per cent say they have or would consider gifting or loaning money to a child to help with the purchase of a home. Another Royal LePage survey of Canadians aged 25 to 35 (chart) found that 93 per cent of the Torontonians in this age group consider home ownership a good financial investment.


Greater Montreal Area


In the Greater Montreal Area, where properties are more affordable than in the other two major urban centres surveyed, 37 per cent of secondary property owners said they were not collecting any rental income at all, while 25 per cent said they are using the unit solely as a rental property. Nine per cent said they were using the property some of the time and renting it out some of the time. Four per cent of respondents said their secondary properties are currently vacant.


“Among secondary property owners in Montreal, the majority are using the properties for leisure, like recreational purposes, rather than as an investment,” said Roseline Guèvremont, real estate broker, Royal LePage Tendance. “In Toronto and Vancouver, where prices have been soaring for several years, homeowners have been taking advantage of the significant equity in their primary residences in order to purchase a secondary property, and renting it out at least part of the time as an investment. In Montreal, although the real estate market has begun to catch up in recent years, prices remain considerably more affordable, so buyers can purchase without necessarily leveraging equity from a primary residence.”


In the Greater Montreal Area, 16 per cent of homeowners aged 18 to 35 currently own more than one property, while 11 per cent of homeowners over the age of 35 own more than one property.


Guèvremont noted that younger buyers are becoming more and more interested in owning property, whether to improve their quality of life, to generate new sources of revenue, or to have new experiences.


“Confidence in the Montreal real estate market has continued to rise in recent years, and many clients have expressed to me their preference to invest in brick and mortar properties. For younger buyers, it’s much more straightforward than investing in the stock market.


“With the return of in-person classes this fall and the opening of the border to U.S. visitors, demand is already being renewed in the rental market,” said Guèvremont. “Montreal’s real estate investors had a tough time generating profits from their units over the last year due to COVID-19.”


A recent Royal LePage survey of Canadian boomers (chart), those born between 1946 and 1965, found that 41 per cent of the cohort in the Greater Montreal Area have at least half (50%) of their net wealth in real estate. Twenty-four per cent say they have or would consider gifting or loaning money to a child to help with the purchase of a home. Another Royal LePage survey of Canadians aged 25 to 35 (chart) found that 92 per cent of Montrealers in this age group consider home ownership a good financial investment.


Greater Vancouver


In Greater Vancouver, 27 per cent of secondary property owners said they were not collecting any rental income at all, while 51 per cent said they are using the unit solely as a rental property. Thirteen per cent said they were using the property some of the time and renting it out some of the time. Seven per cent of respondents said their secondary properties are currently vacant.


“Real estate is an integral part of retirement planning for many Vancouver homeowners,” said Caroline Baile, real estate broker, Royal LePage Sussex. “While some are using their secondary properties, possibly a cottage or a ski chalet, many of those with multiple homes are looking to build future equity as a means of sustaining a desired lifestyle down the road. Investment properties are not likely being used to subsidize monthly income, but are seen as a long-term investment.”


In Greater Vancouver, the country’s most expensive city to buy real estate, 14 per cent of homeowners aged 18 to 35 currently own more than one property. Similarly, 14 per cent of homeowners over the age of 35 own more than one property.


“Younger Canadians are sitting in the driver’s seat of their own futures. They are very business savvy, and have a clear idea of what they want their retirement years to look like. Young people today put a lot of emphasis on work-life balance. They want their money to work for them, and they recognize that investing in real estate has the potential for great returns,” continued Baile. “While so many young Canadians struggle to enter the real estate market, those fortunate enough to do so, whether on their own or with financial support from their parents, will reap the benefits in the future.”


A recent Royal LePage survey of Canadian boomers (chart), those born between 1946 and 1965, found that 40 per cent of the cohort in Greater Vancouver have at least half (50%) of their net wealth in real estate. Thirty-four per cent say they have or would consider gifting or loaning money to a child to help with the purchase of a home. Another Royal LePage survey of Canadians aged 25 to 35 (chart) found that 90 per cent of Greater Vancouver residents in this age group consider home ownership a good financial investment.


Royal LePage 2021 Secondary Properties Report Chart: rlp.ca/table_secondarypropertiesreport2021 

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About Royal LePage

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 18,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE. For more information, please visit www.royallepage.ca.

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