Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gap between Housing Supply and Demand Largest in Toronto and Vancouver: CMHC

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gap between Housing Supply and Demand Largest in Toronto and Vancouver: CMHC

Article excerpt

Toronto, Vancouver show largest home supply gap

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Toronto and Vancouver's real estate markets have responded to surging prices and a growing demand for homes with a supply of new housing that is "significantly weaker than other Canadian metropolitan areas."

The disparity between supply and demand has been largest in the two cities, but "we do not fully know why this is the case," said the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in a report it released Wednesday on escalating house prices in the country's large metropolitan centres between 2010 and 2016.

Data gaps are keeping CMHC from developing a full picture of why Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton don't have as big of an inconsistency between supply and demand as Toronto and Vancouver do, but CMHC's deputy chief economist Aled ab Iorwerth said he has noticed Calgary and Edmonton responding to demand with "horizontal sprawl."

As for Montreal, he said "they already have a large rental sector, there is perhaps an acceptance of living in denser housing there and they seem to be more ready to convert industrial land into housing."

Helping housing supply catch up to demand in any of the country's major cities will involve combating urban sprawl and increasing densification, while dealing with affordability, infrastructure and environmental issues, said CMHC's report.

It also noted that a lack of supply in Vancouver and Toronto had buyers gravitating towards condos -- which were more plentiful and have seen a spike in investor demand -- as well as high-end homes. …

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