Claims that foreign buyers are fueling high home prices in Toronto by buying properties and leaving them vacant “aren’t conclusive” according to a senior real estate developer.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Fortress Real Developments’ research senior vice-president Ben Myers, says that he has seen “scant evidence” that there are large numbers of empty homes in the city and says the figures don’t tell the whole story.

Statistics Canada data which reveals total dwellings and those “occupied by the usual residents” lead to the interpretation that the gap between the two figures is unoccupied homes. But Myers says that the method of data collection does not account for short-term occupancies including students.

Data collected by the city on waste collection is also not a clear indication of growing numbers of empty homes, despite a decline in waste amid a growth in homes. Myers says there could be many reasons for the drop.

Fortress Real Developments has just released its latest analysis of the housing market in Toronto and nationwide.

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