FOREIGN STUDENTS RETURNING FOR FALL SEMESTER INCREASES DEMAND FOR NEW HOUSING
As of July 5th of this year, the Government of Canada has eased some quarantine requirements for certain travellers, including qualifying foreign students eager to begin their fall semesters. Information on border requirements can be found at https://bit.ly/2WwwSaN. To come into Canada, students need a valid study permit or letter of introduction showing they have been approved for a study permit and must be enrolled in a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan in place. By September, Canada will welcome more than 300,000 international students, many of whom will settle in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
This is wonderful news for us locally and nationally, as many of these students become immigrants – and we need more immigrants because of our aging population and low birth rate. Last year, our country saw a population growth of just 0.4 per cent; yet we need 2.1 per cent to sustain growth. As of December 31, 2020, Canada had 530,540 international students who had study permits, which was already 17 per cent lower than 2019. So far this year, our government has issued 44 per cent more study permits than last year, as well as 24,000 new post-graduate work permits (160 per cent over last year). In Q1 alone, our population grew at the fastest rate since COVID-19 arrived, and a recent RBC report credits immigration with that improvement.
As these students return, we will see an increased demand for housing, especially rental condominiums. Some may have already made rental arrangements, and the parents of others might have purchased homes or condos online so their children have a place to stay here in the GTA. Once these students graduate, these residences could be sold, likely at a substantial return-on-investment, or owners may choose to keep them to rent out or live in. We definitely need more new homes and condos.