Tomorrow is Election Day in Ontario -- and real estate concerns are front and centre among voters.
According to a Royal LePage survey conducted by Leger, a large majority of Ontarians of voting age believe that tackling the housing supply crisis should be a top priority of the next provincial government.
This comes as no surprise as the province has seen housing costs skyrocket to largely unattainable heights since the onset of the pandemic. While the red-hot market has showed signs of cooling in some areas as of late, perpetual interest rate hikes make the prospect of homeownership as daunting as ever for many.
When asked to what extent they agree with the following statement: ‘A party’s position on housing supply and affordability is a top consideration in my voting decision in the upcoming provincial election’, 63% of respondents in the province of Ontario said they agree (22% strongly agree and 41% somewhat agree). In the notoriously pricey City of Toronto, that figure rose to 69%. Only 27% of Ontarians said they disagreed with the statement; 10% responded ‘I don’t know’.
“The pandemic triggered a willingness to spend more on housing as the family home took on heightened importance. The real estate boom that resulted has worsened an already critical housing shortage in this country and Canadians are demanding action,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “In Ontario, achieving home ownership has been especially challenging, given the strong organic demand generated from new household formation and the large number of newcomers that the province welcomes each year.”
A Royal LePage-issued press release points to a Bank of Nova scotia report published in January 2022 that revealed that Canada’s population-adjusted housing stock is the lowest in the G7 (however, some argue this metric needs to be approached with caution). According to the Bank of Nova Scotia, Ontario is faring worse than the rest of the country, requiring 650,000 homes for its ratio of dwellings to population to equal that of the rest of the country.
Naturally, all three political parties have put forth a platform on how they will tackle the ever-important housing affordability issue.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government released its supply-focused 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 reduce red-tape in the development approval process and ultimately build more homes, faster.
And, apparently, this is exactly what Ontarians want as we move forward.