Investors have become more prevalent in Canada’s housing market, accounting for 30% of all residential real estate purchases in the first part of this year, according to new data.
Over the course of the pandemic, investor buying has grown as soaring home prices ramped up interest in residential properties as an asset class.
Investors were responsible for 30% of home purchases in the first three months of the year, according to data released by the Bank of Canada. That is up from 28% in the first quarter of last year, and 22% in the same period in 2020. The central bank defines an investor as a buyer who took out a mortgage to buy the property while maintaining a mortgage on another home.
Meanwhile, the percentage of first-time homebuyers shrunk to 43% in the first quarter of this year from 48% in the same three months in 2020. Similarly, repeat buyers fell to 27.5% from 30% over the same period.
“The presence of investors in real estate markets can amplify house price cycles,” the Bank of Canada said in a note accompanying the data. “During housing booms, greater demand from investors can add to bidding pressures and intensify price increases. Similarly, when prices are stable or declining, a lower influx of investors can add downward pressure on housing demand and prices.”