Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP)

Detailed information for 2018





Record number:


The Canadian Housing Statistics Program will provide comprehensive information to monitor and analyze the Canadian housing market. Descriptive variables in the database include property characteristics, (e.g. structure type, period of construction, location), and property owner characteristics (e.g. demographics and residency status). Additional property characteristics and owner characteristics will be added in the future.

Data release - December 11, 2018 (First in a series of releases for Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia.)


Statistics Canada was mandated to create a dynamic residential property database: a comprehensive repository of data that covers numerous aspects of the housing sector. The database, under the responsibility of the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP), will ultimately include all residential properties in Canada.

The CHSP residential property database was developed by combining data from multiple sources (e.g. property assessment rolls, land titles, Census of Population, etc.) and provides detailed information at the property and owner levels.

The database, initialized in 2017, continues to be expanded with new geographies and variables and is expected to contain information for all properties in every census subdivision nationwide by December 2022.

Statistics Canada and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are working closely together on various housing-related programs and initiatives which help support the CMHC's National Housing Strategy.

Collection period: Ongoing


  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Families, households and housing
  • Housing and dwelling characteristics
  • Rental and leasing and real estate

Data sources and methodology

Target population

At this time, the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP )database contains information for the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. By 2022, the CHSP plans on providing a complete, timely and accurate database of all residential properties in Canada.

The CHSP database does not currently contain information about non-residential properties, residential properties on Indian reserves, or collective dwellings (e.g. nursing homes, jails or staff residences). Properties with mixed residential and non-residential portions are included, but the property characteristics reported in the CHSP reflect only the residential portions of mixed properties.

Instrument design

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.


The Canadian Housing Statistics Program is a census of residential properties in Canada, with data for each province to be added as they become available.

Data sources

Data are extracted from administrative files.

The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) leverages existing data from provincial-territorial land registries, property assessment programs and other administrative data files to create a database of all residential properties in Canada.

Property-level data are obtained from land registries and property assessment programs. Owner-level information is also derived from land registries and property assessment programs, and a variety of owner characteristics are linked from tax data, the Business Register, the Census of Population, and the Longitudinal Immigration Database. This owner information is supplemented with indicators of residency in the economic territory of Canada, which are obtained by linkage to various data sources, including tax and Census of Population data.

The record linkage process is implemented using custom software developed at Statistics Canada. G-Link, part of Statistics Canada's suite of generalized systems, was used to perform probabilistic record linkage, while SAS and Mix-Match software programs were used to perform deterministic linkage.

A range of data sources are used to determine whether or not property owners are residents of Canada. Key amongst these factors is linking an owner to recent Canadian Tax Data activity; when linking to tax data is successful, an owner is highly likely to be considered a resident of Canada. However, additional criteria such as an indication of emigration from Canada to a foreign country, or a lack of presence on the last Canadian Census of Population may conversely lead to an owner being designated as a non-resident of Canada.

Data released for 2018 reflect the stock of properties available on the 2018 property assessment roll in each province. Each assessment agency applies its own reference date for the creation of municipal assessment rolls. For example, the assessment rolls for British Columbia and Ontario reflect the stock of residential properties as of January 2018, and the Nova Scotia assessment roll reflects the stock of properties as of December 2017.

The assessment values in Nova Scotia and British Columbia are in 2017 dollars, while the assessment values in Ontario are in 2016 dollars. "Assessment value" refers to the assessed value of the property for the purpose of determining property taxes. It is important to note that the assessed value does not necessarily represent the market value.

Concepts and terminology used to describe properties are distinct to a jurisdiction, and CHSP harmonizes these differences as much as possible.

Error detection

All microdata records contained in the Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) are verified in order to identify possible errors (e.g. outliers, unexpected values or formatting issues). Validation edits are used to verify that each field contains values that fall within the allowable range for that data element. Correlation edits are used to check the compatibility of different data elements within a record.

The CHSP estimates undergo various levels of error detection from internal checks during data production, to post development sampling for detection of linkage errors. Data providers are extensively consulted with respect to the concepts and any data abnormalities pertaining to externally obtained files.


Some Ontario property values are imputed. Property assessment values for Ontario are obtained only once every four years. The current data reflects prices for the 2016 tax year. These values are carried forward without accounting for asset appreciation or inflation. For properties built after 2016, properties that have undergone significant structural changes since 2016, or where lots have been subdivided or amalgamated after 2016, the CHSP imputes assessment values using a machine learning algorithm that has been trained on existing Ontario property data. The imputed assessment values reflect the assessment values of the property as of January 1, 2016 without consideration of current market conditions.


Estimation methodology is not currently required.

Quality evaluation

A number of strategies have been developed and implemented to assess data quality and to minimize errors.

Data abnormalities are resolved in collaboration with data providers and by comparing aggregated values available from alternate sources like the Census of Population and tax data.

The contents of administrative databases containing property information are compared between vintages to ensure consistency over time.

The aggregated contents of the database undergo a quality evaluation from external partners, such as the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation and the Department of Finance Canada.

Steps were taken to consolidate and standardize variables originating from various data sources to achieve the best possible matches between records.

The linkage results are extensively reviewed during the linkage process to ensure that the methods used are correct and appropriate. Furthermore, samples of linked records are manually reviewed and estimates of linkage error rates are calculated to ensure that linkages are of high quality.

Linkage quality varies among the provinces and territories as a result of the prevalence of common names and the presence of non-civic addresses such as post office boxes in the source data. The variance in quality for linkage can impact some indicators which are derived from these linked data sets, such as residency status of the property owner, residency status of the property, and property use of residendtial property.
Other minor data quality issues can also affect linkage quality and linkage quality impacts some derived variables more than others. Although the quality estimates for most variables are very strong, the derived non-resident ownership rate in particular is impacted by variation in linkage quality.
The indicator on property use is also impacted by variation in linkage quality. It is determined by a methodology relying on a range of data, particularly civic-style address data used in an algorithm to link between an owner's property address and stated address of residence. This indicator is not available in some areas which lack civic-style addresses.

For provinces where 2017 data is available (Ontario and British Columbia), these data should be considered preliminary releases and users are recommended not to compare the 2018 current data with the CHSP 2017 release. The reception of more recent versions of administrative files has allowed for improved results in the derivation of CHSP variables (e.g. residency status). Furthermore, some changes to the linkage methodology and the way geographies are assigned may make comparisons between the 2017 and 2018 releases unreliable, especially for residency status. Data released for 2017 reflected the stock of residential properties at the time of extraction (May 2017 for Ontario and June 2017 for British Columbia), and comparisons between the 2017 and 2018 releases in these provinces do not reflect annual change in the stock of residential properties.

Property assessment values reflect various accounting methodologies and reference dates that are unique to each jurisdiction.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge and the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality protections are applied to all data published to prevent the disclosure of any information deemed confidential. As necessary, data are suppressed or rounded to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

The use of the Canadian Housing Statistics Program data is subject to the normal privacy and confidentiality constraints to prevent the disclosure of personal information.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

As Canadian Housing Statistics Program is a program in development, published data is subject to revision.

Data accuracy


Since each Canadian municipality, province or territory has a legislated responsibility for property monitoring and assessment, completeness of the administrative data provided by external sources is considered relatively good.

The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) database reflects the current content of the external data provider's registry of residential properties as of the date of extraction, which varies by province and territory.

The CHSP assigns properties to a geographic location using data from property assessment rolls. For a few remote, unorganized census subdivisions, no residential properties have been identified under the CHSP; however a few residential properties were reported in these geographies under the 2016 Census of Population.


Initial investigations are performed to ensure that all properties on the data files are unique. Through internal linkages, duplicate records are identified and then suppressed if owners are listed twice for the same property.


Undercoverage of residential properties may exist for a variety of reasons. For example, properties undergoing unreported changes between assessment periods (e.g., new constructions, demolitions or improvements performed without a building permit) are not captured in the assessment values.

Non-sampling errors
No statistical sampling errors were calculated from this database.


The Canadian Housing Statistics Program (CHSP) as an innovative data project that utilizes new techniques in linkage and processing that may be refined over time leading to improvement in the accuracy and precision of data that is released. The first year of data for each province and territory should be considered preliminary results and may contain precocity error which may be corrected in future data releases.
The Canadian Housing Statistics Program data are used to produce annual estimates. Data for reference year 2018 reflect the stock of properties available on the 2018 property assessment roll in each province and territory.

The data reflect the assessment values of the properties for the relevant tax year, not the current market values. Assessment values in Ontario reflect asset values for the 2016 tax year in 2016 dollars, while assessment values in British Columbia and Nova Scotia reflect asset values for the 2017 tax year in 2017 dollars.


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