In recent years, the stock of rental housing in Canada has decreased as purpose-built rental starts have slowed and existing stock has been converted from rental to ownership. The objectives of this research project were to compare the Canadian rental market to those in other countries, and to explore the private rental housing programs and initiatives adopted in other countries. An overview of the rental housing stock in 13 countries found widely differing situations: from Spain where less than 10% of the housing stock was private rentals, to Germany where 60% of dwellings were rentals, most in the private market. Country specific literature reviews were completed for Australia, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States. Only three countries recorded recent significant growth in the size of their private rental sectors: the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand. The literature suggested two factors that contributed to growth of rental markets: weakened ownership markets and deliberate policies to encourage rental investment. Examination of policies and programs in other countries showed that favourable tax treatment of rental investors, and deregulation of the private rental sector can have some impact on the growth of the sector. Yet, perhaps the most compelling evidence for a strong, stable rental sector came from Germany, where policy has not shown a bias towards home ownership and instead has emphasised renting through favourable tax treatment, exception of longer-term rental properties from capital tax gains, and balanced regulation.

Additional Metadata
Contributor Centre for Urban Research and Education
Publisher Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Citation
Pomeroy, Steve, Horn, Jaime, & Marquis-Bissonnette, Maude. (2015). Literature Review of International Rental Housing Policies. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).