Erin Nicole Davis
Tomorrow is election day in Ontario – and real estate concerns are at the forefront of voters.
According to a Royal LePage survey led by Leger, a large majority of Ontarians of voting age believe that tackling the housing supply crisis should be a top priority for the next provincial government.
This is not surprising, as the province has seen housing costs soar to levels largely unattainable since the start of the pandemic. While the hot market has shown signs of slowing in some areas lately, perpetual interest rate hikes are making the prospect of home ownership more daunting than ever for many.
When asked to what extent they agreed with the following statement: “A party’s position on housing supply and affordability is a primary consideration in my voting decision in the upcoming provincial election,” 63% of respondents in the province of Ontario agreed (22% strongly agreed and 41% somewhat agreed). In the notoriously expensive city of Toronto, that figure has risen to 69%. Only 27% of Ontarians said they disagreed with the statement; 10% answered “I don’t know”.
“The pandemic has triggered a desire to spend more on housing as the family home takes on increased importance. The resulting housing boom has worsened an already critical housing shortage in this country and Canadians are demanding action,” said Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage. “Homeownership in Ontario has been particularly challenging, given the strong organic demand generated by new household formation and the large number of newcomers the province welcomes each year.
A press release issued by Royal LePage references a Bank of Nova Scotia report released in January 2022 which found that Canada’s population-adjusted housing stock is the lowest in the G7 (however, some argue that this measure should be approached with caution). According to the Bank of Nova Scotia, Ontario is doing worse than the rest of the country, needing 650,000 homes to bring its housing-to-population ratio up to the rest of the country.
Naturally, all three political parties have presented a platform on how they will tackle the ever-growing issue of housing affordability.
Earlier this year, the federal government released its supply-driven 2022 budget, which included billions of dollars in spending aimed at increasing housing supply across the country. A commitment was made to work collaboratively with lower levels of government to cut red tape in the development approval process and ultimately build more homes, faster.
And, apparently, that’s exactly what Ontarians want as we move forward.
Erin Nicole Davis
Erin Nicole Davis is a Toronto born and raised writer with a passion for the city, its urban affairs and its culture.
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