The number of empty homes across Canada has increased from 7.8% of the housing market in 2001 to 8.7% in 2016, according to new research from Point2Homes.

The study analysed demographic and housing data for the country’s largest cities in the period between 2006 and 2016. The data revealed that, of the country’s largest cities, Winnipeg saw the biggest increase in its vacancy rate (42.7%), followed by Montréal (36.3%), and Edmonton (32.5%).

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in Vancouver increased by 9.6% between 2006 and 2016, while the vacancy rate in Toronto decreased by 4.7% in the same period.

According to Point2Homes, the cities with the most significant increases were Grande Prairie (up 181.4%), Leduc (up 172.4%), and Fort Saskatchewan (up 146.8%), all in Alberta. The biggest drops in the number of empty homes were noted in Ajax, ON (down 53.1%), Burlington, ON (down 52%), and Port Moody, BC (down 50.4%).

The highest vacancy rates in 2016 were in Kawartha Lakes, ON (19.%), Collingwood, ON (17.7%), and Wood Buffalo, AB (16.4%), while the lowest vacancy rates in 2016 were in Sainte-Julie, QC (1%), Orangeville, ON (1.2%), and Boucherville, QC (1.4%).

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