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This 2019 Toronto Housing Market Analysis Is Not Here To Ease Your Anxieties

When pressure in the housing market has been building to crisis levels for 40 years, what else can you say but "Whoops"?
February 14, 2019

If you're looking for a way to justify your anxieties about Toronto's rental housing market in one convenient report, I recommend reviewing the Toronto Housing Market Analysis From Insight to Action (January 2019).

Created by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis and the Canadian Urban Institute, this report was considered by the Planning and Housing Committee on Feb. 12 and a motion was passed to forward it to city council on Feb. 26.

The committee put together this summary of the report:

The Study provides a unique look at past trends, present and future housing demand and the need for the City to be ready to address the pressures of accelerated population growth over the next 20 years. During this timeframe it is predicted that vulnerable groups and low- and moderate-income households will experience increased difficulty accessing suitable and affordable housing.

In this case, a select charts and quotes from the report do a pretty succinct job of summarizing the many challenges that Toronto faces for rental housing, particuarly for families and low-income people, and to what extent the ball has been dropped for affordable housing in general.

When pressure in the housing market has been building to crisis levels for 40 years, what else can you say but "Whoops"?

1. Whoops - Greater Than Expected Population Growth

"Toronto will experience accelerated population growth over the next 20 years and vulnerable groups and low- and moderate-income households will experience increased difficulty accessing suitable and affordable housing. [...]

Our analysis projects almost double the rate of population growth to 2041 from what we’ve experienced since 2006, resulting in a significant increase in housing demand." (Page 1)

2. Whoops - We Haven't Built Sufficient Rental Housing In 40 Years

"Today, the rental housing sector in Toronto is almost evenly divided between primary and secondary rental housing, although the proportion that is comprised of primary rental has been declining. For instance, in 2001, primary rental made up approximately 54.5% of the occupied rental stock in the City; by 2016, this proportion had declined to 49.2%." (Page. 26)

"Although Toronto’s social housing stock is not growing today, this was not historically the case. According to data provided by the City’s Affordable Housing Office, Toronto added an average of approximately 13,000 social housing units to its rental housing sector during each 5-year period between 1971 and 1996 (before responsibility for social housing was devolved to the City of Toronto)." (Page 40)

3. Whoops - 1 in 3 Condos Is Now A Problematic Rental Unit

"Toronto’s increasing reliance on condominiums to deliver rental housing can be problematic. Rented condominiums are not only a less stable form of tenancy (as tenancies can be terminated on the basis that the unit is required for use by the owner), but they can also be readily reverted to ownership housing upon becoming vacant (thereby removing units from the City’s rental market altogether)." (Page 31)

"There is a significant shortage of new purpose-built rental housing. Almost all new rental demand is being met through the secondary rental market (e.g. rented condominiums, secondary suites)." (Page 2)

4. Whoops - 79,000 People Have Been Competing For 4,000 Rental Units

The rental market is becoming more expensive and middle-income households are priced out of the ownership market. Rent for condo units grew by 25% from 2006 to 2017. Rent for new purpose-built rental units is out-pacing median renter household incomes." (Page 2)

5. Whoops - You Need To Buy A House If You Want 3+ Bedrooms

6. Whoops - The Number Of Low-income People Is Growing And They Need A Place To Live Too

"Housing affordability is a key driver of homelessness. [...]

More people will live in low-income households. Approximately 540,000 people will live in low-income households by 2031, up from 471,203 in 2016. By 2041, nearly 600,000 peoplewill live in low-income households." (Page 3)

So come out to Central on March 23!

Mark J. Richardson and others will be bringing their own analysis and perspectives to the Toronto housing market with in-depth 30-minute sessions to help attendees understand what's really going on.

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