CMHC clarifies condo ownership survey methodology

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Following broker scepticism, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) clarified the survey method used to determine what percentage of condos in Vancouver and Toronto are owned by investors.

“The survey was conducted by our Market Analysis Centre and done by telephone and targeted condominium owners residing in Toronto and Vancouver who owned at least one secondary condominium unit at the time of the survey,” Charles Sauriol, senior media relations officer told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “These are the investors, but the survey was not limited to people with secondary units.”

According to the survey, 82.9 per cent of condominium owners reside in their unit while 17.1 per cent are owned by condo investors.

It also found that “about half” of condo investors in Toronto and Vancouver currently rent out their last purchased unit.

Sauriol’s clarification followed speculation from brokers that the survey was based on what condo buyers reported when they purchased their units.

“I believe that this report is based on a survey or condo owners and is also based on what was reported at the time of funding; So in reality we have no idea how accurate these numbers are,” commenter M. Robertson said on MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “From experience as a lender I can tell you that a lot of brokers will put owner occupied on an application so that they can get it approved. A lot of lender underwriters also turn a blind eye.”

However, the survey was conducted at random via telephone conversations, according to Sauriol. 

“The survey selected a random sample of households from each CMA using a list of geographically distributed telephone numbers,” he said. “A total of 42,426 households were surveyed in Toronto and Vancouver.”
 
  • David on 2014-08-21 11:45:56 AM

    I would place little faith in a telephone survey purporting to dig into investors' financial lives. The survey is said to be "random". What about all the out of service or out of province/country numbers, or unanswered calls? Or people who refused to answer the questions. I would be more interested in the reject calls than the "random" survey. Fail.

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