Foreign Buyers Represent 5% of GTA New Condo Sales

In response to the increasing need for more clarity regarding the role of foreign purchasers in the Greater Toronto Area housing market, Urbanation expanded its survey of sales activity in new condominium apartment projects to include the share of units sold to non-resident buyers as well as domestic investors.

Urbanation’s survey, which was completed by developers or brokerages representing new condominium apartment projects, found that foreign purchasers represented 5% of all sales that have occurred within projects currently in active development across the Greater Toronto Area. Furthermore, domestic investors represented 52% of sales.

Among projects indicating a presence of foreign buyers, shares of units sold to foreign purchasers ranged between 1% and 25%. Shares of sales to domestic investors ranged between 5% and 90%. The highest shares of sales to foreign purchasers and domestic investors were generally found within centrally-located projects in the Downtown Toronto area.

The data reflected sales that have occured to date as of Q3-2016 within all active development projects, spanning the pre-construction, under construction and occupancy phases.


Urbanation’s estimates were based on a weighted response rate representing 25% of all new condominium apartments sold within projects in development as of Q3-2016. The responses were consistent with the distribution of projects across the Greater Toronto Area.

Foreign buyers are defined as purchasers whose primary residence is outside of Canada. Domestic investors are defined as purchasers whose primary residence is located in Canada and who do not intend on self-occupying their unit(s).  Urbanation recognizes that some foreign buyers may have local identification or purchase units through local intermediaries, such as relatives. It is understood that in most cases, these buyers would not be captured in the estimated shares of foreign buyers.