The Building Industry and Land Development Association released the midpoint results of its Building Answers campaign, revealing the three most asked questions that Greater Toronto Area residents have for the new home building industry.
BILD has received hundreds of questions so far, and the most pressing topics revolve around housing affordability, increased development, and density.
“We recognize that housing affordability is an issue for many people across the GTA, whether they are first-time buyers or current homeowners in need of more space or looking to downsize,” says Dave Wilkes, President and CEO, BILD. “We know there is work to be done and we are committed to doing our part, including increasing housing supply where we’re able, building a wider variety of housing types to fit buyers’ price ranges and building close to transit in communities with established infrastructure.”
These are the top three questions asked by GTA residents, with the answers from BILD:
Why is home affordability a challenge in the GTA?
“The answer to the question on affordability is that for many people looking for a new home, the solution relies on the ability of the GTA to fix the housing supply shortage in such a way that meets the housing demand of the 115,000 new people that come to the region every year. In Canada, only 68 per cent of people own their own home, meaning that in order to house the present and future population we need more than just homes for purchase. We need housing for rent, purpose built rental and social housing. The barriers are complex but to state the solution as plainly as possible, industry, government and the public need to find ways to build more housing faster and to mitigate unnecessary delays and costs on new housing.”
Why is there so much development in the GTA?
“The answer is that the GTA is a desirable place to live from a quality of life and economic perspective and it’s growing by about 115,000 people per year. It’s a combination of natural growth, rural to urban migration, migration from other parts of Canada and immigration from other countries. These new residents need places to live, work and play. The region already has a housing shortfall. Since 2006, the GTA fell short of the provincial Growth Plan forecast by approximately 100,000 new homes and this issue has also been exacerbated by continued strong housing demand. The development that residents see is the industry working to meet demand.”
Why are neighbourhoods becoming denser?
“In order to meet the GTA’s growth needs, the government implemented two plans, the Growth Plan 2006 and more recently the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017). Both these plans implemented density targets for people and jobs per hectare to guide density to higher levels. Higher density means more people and homes in a smaller land space and building up, not out. The net impact is that the industry has been building more condos, townhouses and stacked townhomes than ever before, and less of the more traditional single-family homes. According to the Altus Group’s new home sales data, as of February 28, 2019, there were only 5,233 single-family homes available for purchase in the GTA. That is a 70 per cent decrease from the 16,560 new single-family homes that were available at the end of June 2006.”
The Building Answers campaign will run until May 7, 2019, so if you have a question for the new home industry, ask it today!