The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation recently released highlights of its latest Housing Market Insight report, which focused on individual and non-individual residential property ownership.
It may not sound sexy, and it won’t generate clicks like an average price headline, but this type of data is actually quite important when it comes to developing affordable housing strategies.
The study found that individuals own the majority of residential property in British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, with non-individuals owning less than 10%. The non-individuals are primarily made up of governments and corporations.
In Ontario, non-individuals own 7.9% of residential property, and 7.1% is owned by corporations and different levels of government. On a municipal level, non-individuals own 4.2% of residential property in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area.
The majority of the residential land owned by non-individuals has been deemed vacant, which means it has no residential structure on it, or there may be a residential structure that hasn’t been assessed, or owned by someone else, like a mobile home. The average value of vacant residential land owned by non-individuals is $900,000 in Toronto CMA.
"This new data on vacant land and ownership structure addresses another important data gap in housing, providing concrete evidence that residential ownership by non-individual entities is dominated by corporations and governments in each of these three provinces,” says Bob Dugan, Chief Economist, CMHC. “It may also help us alleviate housing affordability challenges as it allows us to better understand housing supply constraints in key Canadian markets."
It may sound obvious to some people that the majority of non-individuals owning residential land in Ontario are corporations and governments, but knowing a more precise amount can help guide future policy.
Having a database of developable land, vacant land, and understanding their values, and also knowing who owns it takes a lot of legwork out of developing an affordable housing strategy. Perhaps the government needs to acquire more land in order to spearhead affordable residential developments We’re interested to see if the data proves to be useful in future housing initiatives!