Native Canadians have always held the lead when it comes to homeownership, with immigrants usually trailing behind. But in the past several years, it seems as if Canadian immigrants are catching up. According to Scotia Economics, the percentage of Canadian-born residents owning a home went from 73 to 75 from 2001 to 2006. In complete contrast, the number of Canadian immigrants that owned a home rose from 68 to 72 percent during the same time period.
So, why the sudden jump in numbers? Well, one reason is the influx of foreigners coming to Canada. Between 2001 and 2006, over one million immigrants settled within Canadian borders. Of those, 68 percent set up house in the three major census metropolitan areas (CMAs): Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto; and 28 percent established themselves in smaller CMAs like Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.
Another reason is the motive behind the one-million-plus moves. Most of the recent Canadian immigrants are highly skilled workers or employees with well-paid jobs in important industries such as construction and engineering. Adrienne Warren, a senior economist with Scotia Economist says, “The better labour market performance of recent immigrants may reflect a favourable skills mix… and it may also reflect a greater geographic mobility to meet shifting regional labour requirements.”
These Canadian transplants, whether permanent or temporary, are driving up housing demand. Either way, the circumstances lead to a very favourable economic situation when concerning the housing market. And it does not seem that Canada’s popularity is diminishing any time soon, as Warren states, “The share of Canada’s population growth coming from immigration could rise to three-quarters a decade from now.”
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