New Canadians Account for Over One-Third of New Home Buyers in Ontario

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According to a recent report by Tarion, over one-third of Ontarians planning to purchase a pre-construction or newly built home were born outside of Canada. The study sheds light on the growing influence of immigrants in Ontario’s real estate market and highlights the significance of homeownership for new Canadians. This article examines the findings of the report, explores the motivations behind immigrant homebuyers, and discusses the impact on Ontario’s housing market.

Tarion’s New Home Buyers Report revealed that 35% of Ontario residents intending to buy a new home within the next year were born in another country, while 4% were born in a different province. The survey, conducted by Environics Research Group in late 2022, included responses from 526 Ontario residents between the ages of 25 and 75 who planned to buy a new home in the next 12 months.

The report delved into the motivations and factors influencing the purchasing decisions of Ontarians buying new homes. It revealed that 35% of homebuyers were first-time buyers, while the remaining 65% were repeat purchasers. First-time buyers were more likely to be millennials, single, and newcomers to Canada, emphasizing the importance of homeownership as a milestone for new Canadians.

David MacDonald, Group Vice President, Financial Services, at Environics Research, highlighted that buying a home in Canada is a significant achievement for immigrants, signifying their success and integration into the country. He also mentioned that new Canadians are expected to be a driving force behind the growth of the new home construction market in the future.

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The survey indicated that factors such as a builder’s reputation and the property’s warranty protection were crucial considerations for buyers. Energy efficiency also played a significant role, likely due to the increase in remote work, with respondents seeking homes that could accommodate a dedicated workspace. Additionally, the size and price of the property were among the most important factors for homebuyers.

Ontario’s housing market has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and the influx of immigrants has contributed to this trend. With over 8.3 million immigrants and permanent residents in Canada, Ontario’s large cities, particularly Toronto, have become popular destinations for newcomers, leading to increased construction activity. The report revealed that one-third of the surveyed respondents intended to buy a new home in their current neighborhood, while over half planned to stay in the same city or town. This suggests that immigrants tend to settle in and around urban areas with significant new construction developments.

Due to their lower risk compared to resale properties and coverage by the Tarion new home warranty program, the availability of new homes gives newcomers a sense of security. This added protection instills confidence in new Canadians, encouraging them to pursue homeownership. Looking ahead, the Canadian government’s commitment to welcoming more newcomers, with targets of attracting hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the coming years, indicates that the influence of immigrants in Ontario’s housing market will likely continue to grow. This, in turn, will have a lasting impact on the construction industry and the overall housing landscape in the province.

The Tarion report’s findings highlight the significant presence of new Canadians in Ontario’s housing market, with over one-third of new home buyers being foreign-born. Homeownership holds a special significance for immigrants, symbolizing their achievements and integration into Canadian society. The study also emphasizes the role of immigrants in driving real estate activity and their potential to shape the new home construction market in Ontario. With the government’s focus on attracting more newcomers in the future, the influence of immigrants in the housing market is expected to continue, bringing forth opportunities and challenges for the construction industry and the province as a whole.

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