Canadian Investor Profile

Investor Profile

Canadian Investor Profile

More and more Canadians are making strategic in investments in real estate. With every growing housing shortages, rising rents and a zero vacancy rate there has never been a better time to purchase an investment property. In fact, most Canadians agree with this and according to a recent Royal LePage survey more than 1 in 4 Canadians plan to purchase an investment property in the next five years. Furthermore 51% of current investors and 23% of non investors are considering buying an investment property before 2028. Currently approximately 4.4 million Canadians currently own an investment property. Interestingly people are buying investment properties while renting, 15% of Canadian residential investors do not own their primary residence; the majority of whom are aged 18-34. One-third of Canadian real estate investors (32%) own two or more properties.
According to Royal LePage, some investors will be selling those properties with nearly one third of investors in Canada (31%) have considered selling one or more of their investment properties due to higher lending rates. Looking to the future, 44 per cent of investors say they intend to keep their investment property or properties in their current state over the next two years. During the same time period, 26 per cent of investors plan to renovate one or more of their investment properties, while 24 per cent are planning to sell one or more of their homes.
Younger investors, those aged 18 to 34, are more likely to own more than one investment property compared to their older counterparts (aged 35+).
The Royal LePage survey found that although many young Canadians are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder, the youngest group of real estate investors, those aged 18 to 34, are the most likely to have more than one residential property compared to their older counterparts. Forty-four per cent of the youngest investor cohort own two or more investment properties, significantly higher than those aged 35 to 54 (29%), and those 55 or older (25%). Of particular note, 67 per cent of younger investors (18-34) own their primary residence, compared to 88 per cent and 95 per cent of investors aged 35-54 and 55 or older, respectively.

Investors in BC residential real estate: Who are they?

In recent years, there’s been growing concern about the role of residential real estate investors in Canada.

While investors provide much-needed rental stock, they can also limit housing market access for first-time home buyers and contribute to rising house prices. [1]

Who are these investors in residential real estate?

A newly released Statistics Canada profile looks at the demographic characteristics of investors, including age, sex, and immigration status, and where they bought residential properties.

The study focuses on four provinces: British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick in 2020 (most recent data) and was conducted by the Canadian Housing Statistics Branch of Statistics Canada.

Key findings

  • BC, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick had the highest share of out-of-province investors and non-resident investors.
  • Residents aged 55 and older own a higher proportion of investment properties than other any age bracket.
  • Established immigrants – those who landed before 2010 – were overrepresented among investors relative to their share of the provincial populations.
  • Women represented half of all resident investors.

What is an investor?

Investor: is an owner of at least one residential property that is not used as their primary place of residence. This includes:

  • A business or government that owns at least one residential property, excluding Canadian non-profit organizations. These are known as a “business investor.”
  • A person who is not a current resident of Canada and is a residential property owner, referred to as a “non-resident investor”.
  • A person who lives outside the province where they own residential property, referred to as an “out-of-province investor” in the province of the non-principal residence.
  • A person who lives in the province and owns two or more residential properties, or owns a property with multiple residential units and does not occupy that property. These persons will be referred to as “in-province investors”.

Investor-occupants own a single property with multiple residential units. One unit is their primary place of residence. This includes owners of a house with a laneway unit or basement suite and owners of a duplex who live in one of the units.

Non-investors are owners who are not an investor or an investor-occupant. This category primarily includes owners of a single property that does not have multiple residential units who live in the province where their property is located. Canadian non-profit businesses are also included in this category.

Investor types across provinces

The rate of out-of-province investors by province:

  • Ontario (0.5%),
  • Manitoba (1.4%),
  • BC (2.7%),
  • New Brunswick (3.0%), and
  • Nova Scotia (3.8%). 


  • The rate of investor-occupants in BC is 9.6%.
  • Higher rates of out-of-province investors were found in areas along the southern portion of the BC-Alberta border. For example, in Invermere, 40.9% of owners were out-of-province investors. In Radium Hot Springs the rate was 69.2%.
In BC, 61 per cent of investors with a recreational property profile (two properties in different regions) were likely to declare rental income compared to 35.4 per cent of those with a potential landlord profile (two properties in the same region) of three or more properties.

Established immigrants are investors at higher rates than Canadian-born residents

The share of home owners who are immigrants in each province corresponds closely to the share of immigrants in the overall provincial population.

In BC, immigrants in general and established immigrants were overrepresented among investors, relative to their share of the provincial population.

  • The assessed value of the property holdings of immigrant investors is higher than that of Canadian-born investors in all five provinces.
  • The average assessed value of immigrant investors’ total property holdings was $2,200,000 in BC compared with $1,610,000 for Canadian-born investors.
  • In BC, the average income of immigrant investors was lower than that of Canadian-born investors.
  • Canadian-born investors had an average individual income of $105,000, whereas immigrant investors had an average individual income of $80,000. 

The majority of investors are 55 and older

Residents aged 55 years and older were overrepresented among home owners relative to their share of the population.

Canadians younger than 35 were significantly underrepresented among investors relative to their share of the adult population (Chart 5).

This underrepresentation likely occurred because younger investors had fewer income-earning years, making it more difficult to accumulate the financial capital required for home ownership and real estate investment.

Men are overrepresented among investors with three or more properties

  • Women and men constituted a similar proportion of investors. Among resident investors, the proportion of investors who are male in BC is 50.2%.
  • Men were overrepresented among investors with three or more properties in the housing stock.
  • The average assessed value of investors’ real estate holdings was similar between men and women in all five provinces.

The average income of female investors was significantly less than that of male investors. This disparity was the largest in BC where the average income for male investors was $125,000 compared with $70,000 for female investors. 

There is a significant presence of investor-occupants in urban BC

In some expensive urban markets, densification has produced a high number of properties with multiple residential units, such as rental apartment buildings and condominium apartment towers.

While densification can take the form of large buildings, it also includes single-detached houses with secondary suites or laneway units, duplexes, and triplexes. This form of density produces high rates of investor-occupants (those who own a single property with multiple residential units and live in one of the units).

In the Vancouver CMA, 12.5 per cent of owners were investor-occupants. In Vancouver city, this proportion was 15.9 per cent.

Investor-occupants had average incomes that were similar to those of non-investors, but lower than investor incomes. In the Vancouver CMA, the average income for investor-occupants was $65,000, compared with $65,000 for non-investors and $100,000 for in-province investors.

The average assessed value of the properties owned by investor-occupants was higher than that for non-investors in BC.

In the Vancouver CMA, the properties of investor-occupants had an average assessed value 34.7 per cent higher than the properties of non-investors, while in Victoria they were six per cent higher.

Reference: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver | Read the full report, A profile of residential real estate investors in 2020, released May 23, 2023.
Location, amenities and property type still valued among investors
Across Canada, single-family detached homes are the most popular type of investment property, with 44 per cent of real estate investors owning this type of home. Condominiums are the second-most popular type of investment (37%), followed by townhomes (11%). According to the survey, Canadian real estate investors report that the opportunity for property value appreciation over the long term (69%), positive cash flow on a monthly basis (54%), and low maintenance costs or variable expenses (44%) ranked as the top three priorities when buying their residential investment properties.
Forty-four per cent of real estate investors say that their investment property is located in a different town or city than where they currently live.
Access to a post-secondary educational institution is also a major factor, with 47 per cent of investors reporting that proximity to a major Canadian university or college motivated their decision to buy in a particular location.

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