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Changing Patterns in Canadian Homeownership and Shelter Costs, 2006 Census: Housing tenure

Homeownership rate continues to rise

More than two-thirds of Canadian households owned their dwelling in 2006, the highest rate of homeownership since 1971, the earliest year for which such information was readily available.

Of the 12,437,470 households in Canada, more than 8.5 million, or 68.4%, owned their home, up from 65.8% in 2001.

The increase between 2001 and 2006 continues the long-term trend in rising homeownership that began in 1991 after a period of low growth during the 1980s.

At the same time, the proportion of Canadian households that rented their home declined slightly, from 33.8% in 2001 to 31.2% in 2006, representing about 3.9 million households.

Roughly 0.4% of households in both census years lived in band housing. Band housing represents housing found mostly on Indian reserves1 that, for historical and statutory reasons, does not lend itself to the usual classification of 'owned' or 'rented.' The number of households living in band housing increased from 45,415 in 2001 to 49,180 in 2006. Only the following provinces and territory have more than 1% of households living in band housing: Manitoba (2.6%), Saskatchewan (2.6%) and the Yukon Territory (5.7%).

Households in the Atlantic provinces continued to have the highest homeownership rates in the country in 2006, with Newfoundland and Labrador ranking first, at 78.7%. Households in Quebec had the lowest, at 60.1%.

Homeownership rates are traditionally higher in Canada's countryside. About 85.1% of households who lived in rural areas owned their home, as opposed to 64.5% who lived in urban areas.

Census data also showed that the median selling price Canadian homeowners (excluding farms and Indian reserves) would expect to receive for their dwellings rose from $134,240 in 2001 to $200,474 in 2006, a 49.3% increase. (The median is the point at which half is above, and half below.) These dollar values are expressed in current dollars. Over the same period, the Consumer Price Index increased by 11.3%.

Figure 1
Homeownership rates for all households, Canada, 1971 to 2006


  1. Band housing includes the following census subdivision (CSD) types: Indian reserve / Réserve indienne (IRI), Indian settlement / Établissement indien (S-É), Indian Government District (IGD), Terres réservées aux Cris (TC), Terres réservées aux Naskapis (TK), Nisga'a village (NVL), Nisga'a land (NL) and Teslin land (TL).

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