Evan Siddall, President and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), spoke today to the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. In his speech, Siddall explained to the Montreal business community “why housing matters” and how housing can be an effective tool to achieve broader social and economic policy objectives.
He noted that while housing can contribute to broader stability, problems in the housing sector can also be the sign of wider financial instability and he further expanded on the vulnerabilities facing the housing market in Canada.
“In Canada, affordability is key to financial stability. While the majority of Canadians are well housed, there are still too many that are struggling to meet their housing needs. CMHC has a responsibility to make use of government authorized programs to reduce core housing need for all Canadians,” said Siddall.
Siddall also spoke about CMHC’s role in leading the way to help fill important data gaps in Canadian housing information. He recognized that significant information gaps still exist and but noted that the corporation is working diligently to identify and help fill them.
His speech coincided with the release of CMHC’s most recent Housing Market Insight which includes data on foreign ownership of condominium apartments. The report asked condominium property managers to provide information on the total number of condominium apartment units owned by foreign residents. CMHC first started collecting this data in 2014.
Data were collected in the 16 following Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs): Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, London, Hamilton, Kitchener, Ottawa, Gatineau, Montréal and Québec.
In Vancouver (3.5%) and Toronto (3.3%), the shares of foreign ownership of condominium apartments have increased compared to 2014, while in Montréal (1.3%) the share of foreign ownership of condominium apartments has remained relatively stable. CMHC’s survey results show a lower estimate of foreign ownership than findings from other studies on this topic due to differences in methodology, including definition of foreign residents, sample size, geographic coverage, and housing type.