CMHC says foreign investors small part of Montreal real estate market

OTTAWA – A report by CMHC says the number of foreign investors in the Montreal area real estate market is small and concentrated in condominiums in the city’s downtown.

The report by the federal agency found that 1.3 per cent of condominiums in the greater Montreal area were owned by foreigners last year, but that rose to 4.9 per cent in the city’s downtown.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the United States and France were the top countries for foreign buyers.

Overall, 0.9 per cent of residential property purchases in the Montreal area were made by foreign investors last year.

That compared with an annual average of 0.4 per cent from 2005 to 2013.

The issue of foreign ownership has been a key issue raised in Vancouver and Toronto where money coming from outside the country has been cited as a factor in driving up real estate prices in those cities.

A report by CMHC earlier this year found foreign ownership in the Toronto and Vancouver condo markets stood at 3.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively, but was higher when it came to newer buildings.

The federal budget earmarked $500,000 over the next year for Statistics Canada to develop a method for measuring the level of foreign investment in Canadian real estate.