In the various provincial and municipal elections across the country, over the past year or so, affordable housing has become a top campaign issue. Affordability has been a growing concern since the last federal election and it promises to be front-and-centre again in the next one, which is set for about a year from now.
Taxation and regulation efforts by all three levels of government seem to provide only temporary relief, especially in the country’s biggest and hottest markets. The latest affordability report from one of Canada’s big banks makes that clear. So there is reason for concern.
The report indicates housing affordability in Canada is at its worst level in nearly 30 years. On aggregate, Canadians living in a typical bungalow are spending 54% of their pre-tax income to cover their housing costs, including the mortgage, taxes and utilities. That’s up from about 43% just three years ago, an increase of almost 25%.