Should the Government Intervene To Improve Housing Affordability for Canadians?


Should the Government Intervene To Improve Housing Affordability for Canadians?

Photo Source: Mwangi Gatheca

Home prices across the country have increased, especially in popular urban areas such as Toronto and Vancouver. Many Canadians have felt they have either been completely priced out of the market, or have to settle for a home vastly cheaper than their dream home. It seems many prospective homebuyers are becoming fed up with the volatile market and increased housing costs, that they are now looking to the Federal government in hopes they will intervene.

According to a new survey conducted by real estate website Zoocasa, over 70 per cent of Canadians believe that the government should be doing more to moderate housing costs across the country. Renters across the nation felt strongest about this intervention (81 per cent), while 64 per cent of homeowners agreed. Furthermore, less than 50 per cent of both long-term home owners and new home owners stated they are currently residing in their dream home (43 per cent of long-term owners, and 24 per cent of new home owners). Shifting that question to renters, and that number drastically decreases, with only 7 per cent of renters stated they were living in their desired home.

Photo Source: Jesse Roberts

Renters across Canada are least confident about overall market conditions, their homeownership prospects, and overall satisfaction with their current home according to the report. With skyrocketing rental rates (especially in Toronto and Vancouver) this statistic comes as no shock. However, despite their lack of confidence in market conditions, 63 per cent of renters believe owning a home is an important life milestone. Additionally, the desire to upgrade their current home greatly resonated with renters. 92 per cent of renters indicated they eventually will buy a home, and nearly 60 per cent are likely to do so over the next few years.  Overall, the majority of renters believe that it is more valuable to pay into a mortgage, rather than rent to a landlord. Almost half of homeowner respondents believe paying rent is simply a waste of money, and 36 per cent of renters agree.

Photo Source: Zoocasa

Government interventions begun at the beginning of the year when they introduced the new stress test and new lending guidelines. Interest rates have also risen, which has helped cool the once overheated market. Concluding the statistics from the report, while Canadians would like to see the Federal government get involved and focus on creating affordable housing for prospective home owners, unfortunately only about a quarter support actually raising taxes to create housing affordability programs. What type of government intervention would you be on board with?

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