CMHC says number of Vancouver mortgages held by non-permanent residents is on the rise

Emma Crawford Hampel - Business in Vancouver


The percentage of non-permanent residents (NPR) living in Vancouver who hold mortgages in the city increased from 3.3 per cent in 2014 to 3.9 per cent in 2016, according to new CMHC data, and the percentage is even higher for younger foreigners.

NPR includes NPR workers, international students, refugee claimants and those holding work visas on humanitarian grounds. Among those in the 18-44 age group, the percentages of Vancouver properties owned NPR was 4.7 per cent, up from 4.5 per cent in 2014. For those under the age of 25, this number climbs to 10 per cent, which the CMHC said indicates “some younger NPR may be receiving parental support to purchase homes.”

For those over 45, three per cent of mortgage-holders are NPR – up from two per cent in 2014.

The report also found that the average property value is higher for NPR mortgage-holders for all home types when compared with those held by permanent residents. Single-detached homes owned by foreign nationals in Vancouver have an average value of almost $1.7 million, compared with $1.4 million for those whose permanent residences are inside Canada. For condos, the average value is almost $536,000 for NPR, compared with $447,000 for permanent residents.

Across Canada as a whole, the percentage of NPR who were students increased significantly between 1996 and 2015. In 1996, 37 per cent were refugee permit-holders and only 29 per cent of all NPR were students; by 2015, the percentage of students had increased to almost 52 per cent. The percentage of workers increased from 31 per cent to almost 46 per cent over the same period.

“The shift towards more students and workers has implications for household formation and dwelling choices,” the report said.

“The rate at which students and workers form new households is markedly higher than in-land refugees and other categories.

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