Vancouver House Owners Rent Out Suites at Triple National Average: Survey

Some 43 per cent of local house owners rent out their mortgage-helper suites, more than three times Canadian average, finds poll

August 24, 2015

House with basement suite separate entrance

It’s no surprise that Metro Vancouver house owners are paying off huge mortgages – but a new survey, published by Vancouver-based Square One Insurance, reveals how many of them are using mortgage helpers to do so.

The survey, carried out over the past six months and released August 24, found that 43 per cent of local residents who own a house are currently renting out basement suites, laneway homes or other suites in or on their properties.

The nationwide survey found that Vancouver had by far the highest rate of suite rentals of all the key cities surveyed, with a rate of more than twice that of second-placed Toronto (20 per cent).

Of the provinces, BC had the highest rate at 25 per cent, while the Prairie Provinces had the lowest at 5 per cent.

Vancouver’s suite rentals were more than triple the national average percentage, which was cited as 14 per cent – and all these figures could be even higher than the survey suggests, according to the insurance provider.

“The high percentage of people renting out a portion of their houses is understandable given today's economy and the rising price of real estate across the province,” said Daniel Mirkovic, Square One president and CEO.

“In fact, we suspect the actual percentage is considerably higher. Some people may be reluctant to disclose this information to their home insurance provider if they haven’t secured necessary municipal approvals and permits.”

The company also advised homeowners renting out their mortgage-helper suites to declare such use, and any changes in use, to their home insurance provider to ensure their policy isn’t voided.

Joannah Connolly has been editor and content manager of since May 2014. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, and has moderated and spoken on several industry panels. During this time, she also spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 20 years of journalism experience in Vancouver and London, with a prior background in construction, architecture and business media.
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