There’s good news and bad news
The Market Right Now
There has been a collective sigh of relief from home-buyers this summer as the red-hot housing market of 2021 and early 2022 has cooled down. So say goodbye to bidding wars and paying way over asking and hello to a softer, gentler market.
But while the Ontario housing market has slowed down, allowing buyers to buy houses under the asking price, those houses are still priced high and out of reach of many regular, hard-working Ontarians. And what does all of that have to do with the housing shortage?
What’s Up With The Housing Shortage?
The housing supply shortage is nothing new. It was featured in the recent provincial election and is sure to come up as we approach a municipal election this October. With a federal election on the horizon, we’ll hear even more about it. But housing in Ontario hasn’t grown at the same rate as the population since way back in the early 90s.
There is a massive demand for housing, especially near city centres, but there just isn’t the product. And with high demand and short supply, home prices and the rent for condos, homes, and apartments have increased to near-unaffordable levels.
And the people suffering the most are seniors, young families, and Ontarians working two or even three jobs just to make ends meet.
What’s the Plan? Who’s Going to Build More Houses?
In 2021, Ontario created the Housing Affordability Task Force (AHTF) to address the disparity of houses versus population and the struggles the citizens of Ontario are facing trying to afford a home. There are six measures that the AHTF is mandated to look into:
- Creating more housing by increasing the supply
- Adding more housing to communities that consider themselves ‘complete.’
- Reducing the bureaucracy and making it faster to get things done
- Helping the housing industry modernize processes
- Aid in the recovery of Ontario’s economy and increase jobs and job security
- Protect the environment while still increasing quality housing
Succeeding in all of these mandates will be no small feat. Every item on this list comes with another long list of challenges. It’s not just about building more houses. It’s about where those new houses are going to be built.
Not in My Community!
As the housing density increases in the city centres, it’s clear that not only do homes need to be built up, but they also need to be built out. Unfortunately, either option will be challenging in Ontario, with the protected Green Belt effectively limiting the number of homes that can be built.
Many communities resist adding high-density housing, citing traffic flow and other infrastructure concerns. But we will have to build more houses, condominiums, and apartments somewhere.
The HATF’s 10-Year Plan
In 10 years, the HATF has proposed that Ontario build 1.5 million homes. Keep in mind that that is the same number of homes built in the last 20 years. So 150,000 homes a year is a lot, even considering high-rise buildings. And even with those numbers, people will still be looking for housing in 2031.
It’s Not ALL Doom and Gloom
In response to the mandate to add more housing to ‘complete’ communities, Alliston’s growth is assured, with the town re-allocating a whopping 448 hectares of land for new housing to be built, along with additional land for new businesses. Several housing development plans have been presented to council, although it seems no decisions have been made by council yet.
Dufferin is also seeing impressive growth. The province has estimated that Dufferin’s population will soar to a whopping 95,000 by 2051. That’s an increase of more than 25,000 people. The county’s response to this increase in population and their need for housing is growing up and in-filling.
In-filling is taking unused or underdeveloped land and converting it into housing, as well as encouraging residents to use extra unused space as rental suites. This strategy is being used throughout the Provence to increase the number of housing units more quickly.
While the housing market has softened, the housing supply is still in crisis. But there are still some fantastic and beautiful homes out there for sale right now. So if you’re looking to buy, contact us, and we’ll help you find your dream home!
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