Affordable housing is a persistent issue in Canada, specifically in Ontario and Vancouver.
A new poll by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) reveals that Ontarians “housing affordability in the province is getting worse and the future is not looking better for homeownership without greater government action.”
OREA found that 46% of new or prospective homebuyers under the age of 45 have considered or will be considering moving out of Ontario in order to afford a home, while 33% under the age of 29 are definitely (11%) or very likely (22%) to buy outside of Ontario. Finally, 56% “are pessimistic about the possibility of buying a home in the community they want to live in.”
The survey, which was collected by Abacus Data for OREA’s Housing Affordability in Ontario: Perceptions, Impacts, And Solutions report, was conducted with 2,000 Ontarian adults between the dates of June 1 and 7, 2021.
“The lack of housing supply is leading many to look outside the province for their first homes and that will make it difficult to retain and attract talent in Ontario in the near future,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak. “The Government of Ontario’s More Homes, More Choice Act is an excellent first step but if we want to reverse this brain drain, municipalities also need to deliver by opening up more housing opportunities.”
As a result of this data, there is a drastic need to have “widespread support for government actions to address housing affordability.”
According to the poll, 68% agree that the Ontario government could do to make the housing market more affordable. The ideas they support include:
- Stopping money laundering in the Ontario real estate market with a publicly searchable registry of who owns the properties (91%)
- Introducing tax credits and incentives for homeowners to make improvements in their homes or improve energy efficiency (90%)
- Making it easier for first-time home buyers to get into the market by increasing first-time home buyer tax rebates (89%)
- Redeveloping surplus commercial properties into housing (87%)
“The affordability crisis continues to crush the dream of home ownership for many Ontarians and this has been intensified by the economic impact of the pandemic,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak. “Governments need to act if we want to create future generations of homeowners and that starts with pro-growth policies that could bring affordability closer to first-time home buyers and address the supply shortage.”