The lack of supply in the affordable housing market is now expanding into another dimension as academic voices of concern are added to those of the housing industry among others. It was added to with the submission that issues related to affordability in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market could be resolved with a sizable increase in the providing of serviced ground related homes. This, in particular, refers to a study conducted at the Centre for Urban Research & Land Development at Ryerson University.
Planning and implementation
Various arguments being raised on the issue seem to point directly towards a conception that the existing Provincial Governments land-use planning policy needs to be revised. In effect, it should be directed towards supporting an assertive initiative, designed to establish additional serviced sites dedicated towards ground-related housing. They should also be brought into the marketplace as soon as it’s reasonably practical to do so! Another related issue is one of targeting speculative investors to steady the market. However, taking all aspects into consideration, this does not appear to be a permanent or viable solution. What would seem to be more realistic and sustainable would be to increase annually the number of serviced ground-related homes that are constructed.
There are various perceptions that the housing market in Toronto has achieved the construction of sufficient homes to meet increasing population demands! This can be countered with the observation that a balance between supply and demand would have been achieved if preferences had not been given by homebuyers to ground-related housing instead of, for instance, serviced condos.
The unfortunate situation that has arisen can be attributed to an imbalance between housing demanded and that, which has been supplied. A significant volume of new homes constructed have been high-rise-condo apartments but; there has been a significantly high demand by buyers, for ground-related housing that is owner-occupied! According to the Ryerson University study, supporting this, are statistics showing that between 2011 and 2016, 46 percent of new housing constructed was ground related compared to the remaining 54 percent for apartments!
Growth and development
A “Growth Plan” structured in 2006, gave priority to apartment-condo-type homes above that of ground-type residential structures. It was designed to detract from the construction of, for example, single-detached homes in favor of multi-apartment related designed structures. For one reason or another, the aforementioned study claims that at the time of formulating the “Growth Plan” there was already in existence a municipal urban planning system for land use, which was dysfunctional. In addition, delays in the extension of trunk servicing infrastructures, such as sewerage and water, restricted the provision of serviced sites for ground-related homes.
Recent property trends indicate that the annual rates of price growth continued to accelerate in March this year as increased sales exceeded growth in property listings. The forecast is that a significant amount of time is required, in which listings growth exceeds sales growth, to balance the GTA housing market.