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Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba Lead in “Chronic” Housing Shortage in Canada, Says Scotiabank

Ontario Needs To Build 650,000 More Homes Just To Meet National Average

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Ontario leads provinces in a ‘chronic’ housing shortage across the country which, if not resolved, will lead to higher house prices and rents that will reduce affordability nationwide , according to a report by the Bank of Nova Scotia.

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Canada’s most populous province, along with Alberta and Manitoba, is well below the national average for housing stock per capita, Scotiabank chief economist Jean-François Perrault said in his report on Wednesday. . While comparing provinces to a national average will naturally find that some are below and others are above average, the results aim to show just how acute the under-supply is, he said.

“Ontario stands out a lot in this regard. For Ontario to have the same level of housing per capita as the average for other provinces, it would take over 650,000 additional units, ”Perrault wrote in the report.

Among the G7, Canada has the lowest average per capita housing supply at 424 units per 1,000 inhabitants, placing the country just behind the United States and the United Kingdom. France, by comparison, leads the G7 with 540 units per 1,000. The pandemic, which has delivered record savings for households, along with extraordinary monetary and fiscal stimulus, has fueled the hot housing market. of the country and pushed it into sparkling territory for the past two years.

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Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba Lead in “Chronic” Housing Shortage in Canada, Says Scotiabank

Although housing starts exceeded their pre-pandemic rate in 2021, house prices continued to rise, with the national average home price hitting an all-time high of $ 720,850 in November. Given the size of the structural housing gap, the pace of construction is unlikely to reduce it significantly and expectations of heavy immigration will exacerbate pressure on housing, Perrault said.

Alberta would need to build 138,000 more units and Manitoba 23,000 more units to meet the national average. It is important to note that even though Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba are insufficient nationally, this does not mean that housing stocks in other provinces are adequate.

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Canada as a whole would need 1.8 million more homes to have the same number of homes per capita as the rest of the G7. Above-normal housing supply in other provinces could also be a sign of changing migration patterns, as people move to other parts of the country, increasing the number of homes in their province. original. Newfoundland, for example, has seen its population decline by 10% since the mid-1990s, while the number of housing units has increased during this period.

There are encouraging signs, such as pressure at the federal and provincial levels to innovate on more housing. Ontario and British Columbia have set up task forces to address the issue. In the last federal budget, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided $ 2.5 billion and a reallocation of $ 1.3 billion to accelerate and support 35,000 affordable housing units.

“While these efforts are all welcome, what will matter most in the end is the actual progress in increasing supply in a responsible manner,” said Perrault. “History suggests we weren’t very good as a country at achieving this. Hopefully the current initiatives mark a solid departure from past performance.

• Email: bbharti@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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