It may be tempting for foreign investors to look at Canada as one single market but, as we know, that’s simply not the case.
I was recently invited by Bloomberg to sit on a panel in London, England for a discussion on the Canadian housing economy on a global stage alongside Bob Dugan, Chief Economist of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Tamara Lawson, Chief Financial Officer of QuadReal.
My message was simple: Canada is made up of many diverse local markets and we can’t implement a one-size-fits-all approach to help Canadians achieve their homeownership dreams.
While markets such as Toronto and Vancouver have felt the effects of stringent mortgage underwriting polices (the B-20 stress test, foreign buyer taxes and vacancy taxes, to name a few), other Canadian cities such as Montreal have had almost double-digit growth.
We’ve had several demand-suppression polices introduced over the last couple of years yet, at the same time, we’re dealing with supply constraints in certain markets. What this shows is how Canada needs greater policy innovation to help spur a new supply of housing.
We recognize we’re in an election year and political parties continue to unveil their platforms. For the first time, millennials will make up the largest demographic of voters in the 2019 federal election and studies show their No. 1 concern is affordable housing. We also know new Canadians are purchasing properties in record numbers as they seek to achieve their dream of homeownership.
We have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to help build Canada up. CREA will continue its advocacy efforts for fact-based policy in support of homeownership that demonstrates to the world that Canada is a very safe place to invest.
Watch the full panel discussion below.