Q3 population growth was 74-year low: StatCan

by Neil Sharma on 29 Dec 2020

Canada’s population grew by 2,767, or 0.0%, from July 1 to Oct. 1 of this year, according to Statistics Canada, representing a 74-year low.

The 2,767 additions brought the country’s population up to an estimated 38,008,005, meaning there was hardly any growth, while populations actually declined in British Columbia, which lost 1,861 people, and Newfoundland and Labrador, where 1,105 people left. On the other hand, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Yukon, and Alberta all saw increases, with the latter up by 6,236, or 0.1%.

Canada actually welcomed 40,069 immigrants in Q3-2020, a 61.4% year-over-year decline, and had a net loss of 66,000 non-permanent residents, therefore, not only had too few immigrants entered the country during the pandemic, many more packed up and left. Canada’s growth last quarter is the result of there being 99,024 births to 69,114 deaths. Of those mortalities, 706 were COVID-19-related, a substantial decrease from 8,4595 in the second quarter.

According to Dil Banga, a sales agent with Royal LePage Flower City Realty, Canada’s flailing migration pattern has resulted in desperation among landlords in major centres like Toronto.

“There are a lot more incentives when it comes to rentals because there are virtually no people coming to Canada,” he said. “It’s a renter’s market where they have more options. Something they couldn’t afford before, they can now get into because landlords, especially in Toronto, just want to cover their overhead. More inventory means fewer renters coming in, which means the ones who are looking have more options.”

StatCan noted that international students typically arrive in droves during the third quarter of every year, and while they didn’t in 2020, Alex Balikoev says they will in Q3-2021. Although they won’t fill all of the vacancies, they will help make up some of the ground lost by landlords.

“For condo rentals, we monitored the market pre-COVID and we had 4,500 units available in Toronto, and by August that number grew to over 10,000,” said Balikoev, senior vice president of sales at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “The reasons were job losses and a drop immigration, for sure.

“I suspect if we open up sometime in spring, things could pick up by late summer 2021 when people return to work in Toronto and we see more immigrants coming.”

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