Toronto’s Ever-Expanding Population Needs to be Housed
Toronto proudly calls itself a city of immigrants. Given that this city is the most popular settling place for newcomers, housing development has had to step up to increase construction on affordable housing.
According to recently-released data from Statistics Canada, in the last third quarter of the year, the population expansion surged by 0.6 per cent – the biggest increase in immigration records in the past five decades. New immigrants totalled 103,751 in the quarter, while the number of non-permanent residents rose by 82,438.
And the demand for affordable housing has grown in sync with this population influx. The fact is that with Canada’s population growth outpacing every other G7 nation, its urban centres will be particularly hit with an even more dire housing crisis. Immigrants are also sustaining the development business by purchasing 21 per cent of houses on the market.
And that number is sure to increase. BlogTO reported earlier this year that Toronto’s population is growing faster than any city in the U.S. and Canada
From July to September alone, Canada grew by 208,234 people – a phenomenon Statistics Canada has attributed to international migration. Now Royal LePage predicts that immigrants will purchase over 680,000 Canadian homes within the next five years.
There has also been a boost in sales within the multifamily segment – which makes condos and rental apartment builds especially enticing to investors.
Paul Morassutti, vice chair at CBRE Ltd. explained: “The multifamily segment’s ability to generate consistent cash flows with low levels of volatility has always made apartment buildings an enticing option for investors, but the combined strength of tenant demand, rental growth, and investor interest is unprecedented.
“Demand drivers, including a growing population and high home ownership costs, coupled with a lack of meaningful rental supply, are fuelling income growth at a pace that we have never seen in many Canadian markets.”
Of the huge population surge in the latter part of 2019, Statistics Canada said growth of this magnitude from international migration “had never been seen before in a single quarter” and added that it will help to balance the economic impact of a generation of boomers retiring and aging out of the housing and labour markets.
Toronto mayor JohnTory said that the high rate of immigration to Toronto is partly what prompted the start of Housing Now, an initiative to activate 11 city-owned sites for the development of affordable housing.