CMHC looks back at the Canadian housing market in 2023 and what to expect in 2024

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: January 22, 2024

In late December last year, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) published a retrospective of its housing reports throughout 2023, including what Canadians may be able to expect in 2024.

This is a report that could be vital for newcomers to Canada, who are among the Canadian residents most affected by the national housing affordability crisis in this country.

The CMHC identified several main themes in the many reports that the organization published throughout 2023. Among the most prevalent was the revelation that “housing costs became increasingly difficult for many Canadians.” The CMHC is one of Canada’s foremost authorities on housing in this country, “providing … housing data, research and market insights for more than 75 years.”

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To help Canadians better understand this issue, the CMHC’s retrospective analyzes key data uncovered over the last calendar year to “shed light” on housing affordability across the country and the “difficulties faced by Canadians in terms of housing costs.”

More: Click here to read the CMHC’s full 2023 housing market retrospective report. For more insights and data from the CMHC, visit their website here.

Rental Market Turnover

According to data gathered across CMHC reports, there was a high degree of rental turnover in the past calendar year.

The December retrospective published by the CMHC suggests that this degree of rental turnover is most potently influenced by factors “such as job mobility, lifestyle changes, or the pursuit of more affordable housing options.”

Note: The CMHC describes rental turnover as “the pace at which rental units changed hands.”

As the data bore out (presented below), this was especially true for people living in “urban centres” that were subject to rent increase guidelines, as CMHC data displays markedly higher rent prices and levels of rental turnover in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau and Montreal. The rental turnover and costs were, by comparison, noticeably lower in Calgary and Edmonton – two cities without rental increase guidelines.

Urban Centres with Rent Increase Guidelines

  • Toronto: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,600) vs Turnover Units ($2,110)
  • Vancouver: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,847) vs Turnover Units ($2,325)
  • Montreal: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($963) vs Turnover Units ($1,235)
  • Ontario portion of Ottawa-Gatineau: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,520) vs Turnover Units ($1,831)
  • Quebec portion of Ottawa-Gatineau: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,122) vs Turnover Units ($1,250)

Urban Centres without Rent Increase Guidelines

  • Calgary: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,398) vs Turnover Units ($1,486)
  • Edmonton: Average Rent of Non-Turnover Units ($1,270) vs Turnover Units ($1,297)

Housing Supply Gaps

By 2030, the CMHC’s “estimate of the current housing supply gap [projects] a demand for 3.5 million more homes than anticipated.”

CMHC data suggests there has been a two percent decrease in the overall national “housing stock” projections for 2030 between the report published in 2022 and the most recent report from 2023.

Specifically, the estimated housing stock across Canada (in millions) back in 2022 was 16.53. Looking back at the 2022 CMHC report, the 2030 projection for housing stock in Canada was 18.58 million. However, in the 2023 report, the same projection for 2030 dropped to 18.19 million homes.

Note: The change in the above projections represents a decrease of 0.39 million total housing properties, a dip of two percent.

Further broken down by province, the following displays the “updated housing gaps” projected by CMHC between now and 2030.

ProvinceEstimated Housing Stock in 2022 (millions)2022 Report: Projected Housing Stock in 2030 (millions)2023 Report: Updated Housing Stock Projection in 2030 (millions)Projection Change Between 2022 and 2023 (millions)Projection Change Between 2022 and 2023 (percentage)
Ontario6.036.716.61-0.10-2
Quebec4.124.574.45-0.12-3
British Columbia2.262.642.58-0.06-2
Alberta1.812.172.09-0.08-4
Manitoba0.580.650.650.00-1
Saskatchewan0.520.560.55-0.01-1
Nova Scotia0.480.520.51-0.01-2
New Brunswick0.370.400.390.00-1
Newfoundland and Labrador0.270.280.270.00-1
Prince Edward Island0.080.090.080.00-4

Factors behind the increasing housing supply gaps

In their 2023 retrospective, the CMHC briefly highlights the following as “factors contributing to [Canada’s] looming [housing] crisis”:

  • Population and income growth
  • Increased urbanization
  • Evolving household structures

What to expect from Canada’s housing market in 2024 and beyond

“Housing affordability will remain a central theme in our work in 2024,” says the CMHC, adding that “innovative, evidence-based solutions are urgently needed to address Canada’s housing crisis and ensure everyone has a home that meets their needs and that they can afford.”

To this end, the Canadian federal government has already outlined several steps it is taking to increase housing supply and affordability across this country.

Among these steps are the following, described in Canada’s Housing Action Plan released in November 2023.

More: Read Canada’s Housing Action Plan in full here.

More Financing for Apartment Construction

Recognizing that “the supply of rental housing in Canada needs to keep pace with our growing communities”, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement announced an additional $15 billion (for a total of more than $4 billion) in new loan funding, starting in 2025-26, for the Apartment Construction Loan Program.

The Canadian government says that this move will help “build more rental apartments, faster” by providing “builders … access [to] low-cost financing.” The government also says that this “investment will support more than 30,000 additional new homes across Canada, bringing the program’s total contribution to more than 101,000 new homes supported by 2031-32.”

Building More Affordable Housing

As part of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, Canada announced an additional $1 billion over three years, starting in 2025-26, for the Affordable Housing Fund.

As articulated in the government’s Housing Action Plan, “this investment will support non-profit, co-op, and public housing providers to build more than 7,000 new homes by 2028.” The Canadian government indicates that “within its first six years, the Affordable Housing Fund … has already committed funding to repair or renew nearly 129,000 homes while supporting the construction of more than 31,500 new homes.”

Repurposing More Federal Lands for Housing

Canada has committed to using “surplus federal lands” as space to build “more than 29,000 new homes … by 2029.” Specifically, as one step in this process, the federal government announced in November last year that “six surplus federal properties will be developed into more than 2,800 new homes in Edmonton, Calgary, St. John’s, and Ottawa.”

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