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

Joannah Connolly
August 24, 2015

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
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.