British Columbia leads the country as the province with the highest number of unaffordable housing.
Statistics Canada data released Wednesday from the 2021 census said BC is the most unaffordable province for housing in Canada, largely due to the number of people paying high rents to live in downtown Vancouver.
The data pegs BC’s unaffordability at 25.5 percent, with Ontario next at 24.2 percent.
Canada’s homeownership fell to a total of 66.5 percent in 2021, compared to its peak of 69 percent in 2011.
Statistics Canada said BC recorded the third largest decline in home ownership from 2011 to 2021, to 66.8 percent from 70 percent, while Prince Edward Island saw the sharpest decline.
BC also leads Canada in the number of tenant households, with Kelowna showing an increase in tenant numbers of more than 54 percent.
New buyers in BC are largely opting for condominiums as a “gateway to homeownership,” the report said.
“BC had the largest proportion of apartment dwellers of the provinces in 2021, with 23.6 percent of households calling an apartment building,” the report said. “Nearly a third, 32.5 percent, of Vancouver households lived in an apartment building.”
It said most tenant-occupied condominiums are owned by individuals likely to serve as investment properties.
“According to the Canadian Housing Statistics Program, more than three-quarters, more than 77 percent, of apartments in BC and more than two-thirds, nearly 70 percent, of those in Ontario that were not occupied by homeowners were owned by individual Canadian investors.” , the report said.
It also showed that improvements in household incomes across Canada reduce core housing needs, yet nearly 1.5 million Canadians still live in conditions defined as unfit, inadequate or unaffordable.