The Impact of Immigration on Multi-Family Homes

Canada welcomes many immigrants each year. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of immigrants coming to Canada, but the plans are to increase this number once more. These new families and professionals coming to the country have meant growth in numerous sectors — as immigration often does.

Immigrants bring new cultural perspectives to a country. They also bring more people into the labour force, children into schools, and families seeking housing. In recent years, British Columbia has experienced massive immigration, breaking records in 2021 for newcomers. As the labour shortage continues to be an issue in most communities across the province, Victoria is no stranger to Help Wanted signs. Immigrant families are part of the solution for this worker shortage as a large portion of the city comprises retirees. There are a few key things that have made Victoria a favourable place for immigrant families to settle:

  • Services and support facilities to help immigrants get settled
  • New educational resources for immigrant children in public schools
  • multi-family homes to help provide affordable housing for immigrant families

How do immigrant families impact housing markets?

As more immigrants, families, and students move to Vancouver Island, the Victoria Housing Market is impacted— both homeownership and the rental market. 

The previous belief was that an immigrant family might need ten years to save up and develop the skills necessary to secure a higher-paying job to afford to buy real estate. However, because Canada wants to welcome immigrants with more training, this timeline is shortened to about five years. While these families save money, affordable rental homes are necessary, and multi-family homes are the perfect solution. This is primarily due to the fact that the average condo or apartment isn’t large enough for a family in many cases.

Canada wants to welcome immigrants with more professional training and education in the coming years, which will allow them access to higher-paying jobs so that they can afford to purchase their homes. In 2021 alone, 38% of homeowners in Canada were immigrants

The impact of immigration on rental rates and housing prices

When we mix this demand with the current cost of living in Victoria and the surrounding region, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are looking for multi-family homes in the Victoria housing market. The affordability crisis, mixed with the growing number of immigrant workers, families, and students arriving in the region, meaning we can expect to see even more growth in the multi-family sector of the victoria housing market.

Research has also shown that increased immigration to a region is often closely followed by increased rental rates and housing prices. As more families and workers move to a region, more demand on the housing market leads to a rise in rental and purchase prices. As rates rise, having rental income within a home is crucial for the affordability of larger homes leading to more interest in the multi-family home space. 

What this means for Victoria housing market investors

For real estate in the Victoria region, this means various things. Those who prefer to own physical properties look at high-volume dwellings and multi-family homes to fit this need. There are mortgage pools for investors interested in taking advantage of this market without being tied up in the physical property.

Because of this boom, many contracting companies and large-scale real estate developers seek mortgages and funding for multi-family developments. Due to this, many reputable Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) are looking at development projects that focus on multi-family homes. 
Cooper Pacific is a MIC with years of experience investing in the Victoria housing market and building portfolios that work. We look at the trends and reports for the future to build our funds, and we see how multi-family housing complexes benefit our investors. If you’re interested in learning more and seeing how real estate can be a lucrative alternative investment strategy for your portfolio, contact Jordan on our team today.

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