PE Ledger

Investors now make for more than 25% of all homebuyers in Ontario, driving up prices

Investors, who were once the smallest sector of buyers, now appear to be the largest.


When Tehmeema Safdar’s husband was offered a job as a medical researcher in Toronto five years ago, she dreamed of settling down in the city with her children.

“We were a little nervous and a little excited,” the mother of three, 43, added.

“A lot of people told us to go to Toronto… it’s a great city.”

But those dreams have faded over time: they’ve been tenants since moving from Edmonton, and the family has had to relocate three times. They are currently residing in Oshawa.

When they arrived in the city, Safdar says they continued to save, but they watched as costs rose. They quickly discovered that purchasing real estate in the Greater Toronto Area was becoming increasingly out of reach. They’re now considering abandoning the project entirely.

Safdar’s experience isn’t unusual, and it’s becoming more common not only for families relocating to Toronto from other areas but also for first-time purchasers who have lived in the city their entire lives. The common selling price of all houses in Toronto increased 19.3% year over year to $1,155,345, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

And, as prices rise, new data suggests that persons who own multiple properties in Ontario account for more than 25% of all buyers.

It’s a far change from only ten years ago when investors accounted for only a small percentage of all residential real estate sales. They now make up the largest section, according to the data, and experts believe that not only is this driving up prices, but it’s also making it more difficult for individuals attempting to break into the market to participate in bidding wars.

These experts are raising concerns not only about the potential for future economic consequences but also about something this trend could mean for the demographic mix of major cities like Toronto.

‘It’s ruthless’ 

Jermaine L. Murray is well aware of this truth.

The 31-year-old isn’t looking for a home for himself but rather for his mother, who is nearing retirement and is responsible for his special-needs sister. He claims she was forced to sell her property due to a divorce a few years ago, and the money she received was insufficient to cover a down payment on a new home.

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