Issue 17-137: 2016 Census: Highlights from the Housing in Canada Release

October 26, 2017

Statistics Canada released a new set of Census results on October 25, 2017. This release focuses on key housing indicators.

The next release is November 29th, 2017 and will profile census data on education, labour and work related statistics, and mobility and migration.

Homeownership Rates in B.C.

Of the almost 1.9 million households in B.C. in 2016, 68.0% owned their home. The homeownership rate has fallen slightly compared to the 70.0% homeownership rate in 2011.

Homeownership rates vary among Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and census agglomerations (CAs). Parksville has the highest homeownership rate in the province (81.9%). Fort St. John (67.7%), Vancouver (63.7%), Victoria (62.6%), Dawson Creek (60.7%) and Prince Rupert (60.3%) have homeownership rates below the provincial average.

Shelter Costs in B.C.

Monthly shelter costs are higher on average for those who own their home ($1,387) compared to those who rent ($1,149).

The proportion of households with monthly shelter costs considered unaffordable (those households that spend 30% or more of their average monthly income on shelter costs, including mortgage payment, rent, selected utilities, property taxes and strata fees) was 28.0% in 2016.

CMAs in B.C. all have higher shares of households living in unaffordable homes than the provincial and national averages. Vancouver has the largest share of households in unaffordable dwellings at 32.0%, the second largest proportion in the country behind only Toronto. At 25.5% Abbotsford-Mission is the CMA with the lowest proportion of unaffordable housing in the province.

Condominium Living in B.C.

The importance of condominiums as a dwelling option has continued to increase, with B.C. cities having some of the largest proportions of households living in a condominium in the country. About four in ten households lived in dwellings built between 2011 and 2016 that were part of a condominium, significantly higher than the approximately one in ten households living in condominiums built before 1980.

The share of households living in condominiums varied among CMAs in 2016. Vancouver (30.6%) had the highest proportion of households living in condominiums not only in the province but across Canada. Abbotsford-Mission (21.5%), Kelowna (21.3%) and Victoria (18.4%) also had rates of households living in a condominium well above the national average of 13.3%.

National Highlights

According to the newly released 2016 Census data, over 9.5 million or 67.8% of households in Canada owned their home in 2016.  Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest ownership rate at 76.7%, well above the national average. Quebec (61.3%) and the territories have the lowest homeownership rates in the country.

In 2016, 13.3% of households were living in condominiums. Homeownership among households residing in condominiums was 67.1%.

The proportion of households with unaffordable shelter costs was 24.1% in 2016, down slightly from 24.4% in 2006. Toronto was the CMA with the highest proportion of households with unaffordable shelter costs (33.4%), followed by Vancouver. Saguenay (16.9%) and Quebec (17.8%) had the lowest share of households with unaffordable shelter costs.

Data Source: Statistics Canada, Census 2016.