The Building Industry and Land Development Association joined forces with the Toronto Real Estate Board on an Ipsos poll to gauge voters’ priorities in the upcoming municipal election.
More than 1,500 Greater Toronto Area residents were surveyed, and it was discovered that 40% say the cost of housing is among their top three election issues, along with crime and infrastructure. York Region had the greatest number of residents concerned about the cost of housing with 42% of the area naming it among their top three. The least worried is Halton, but still 29% considered the cost of housing a top issue.
“Residents of the GTA are concerned about housing affordability and availability,” says Dave Wilkes, President and CEO, BILD GTA. “People are concerned about where young families and first-time homebuyers will live, or if they will be able to afford to live in the GTA at all.”
It’s not surprising that 48% of millennials listed the cost of housing as an important election issue. As those surveyed grow in age, their concern over cost of housing decreases. More than 40% of the 35-54 age group consider the cost of housing a top issue, while only 25% of the 55+ group are concerned.
Another obvious finding is that 62% of renters believe that addressing the cost of housing should be a priority. Only 26% of homeowners believe so. And half of those living with parents or relatives want the cost of housing addressed.
“One of the key issues facing homebuyers and renters in the GTA is inadequate housing supply and choice, and one of the main reasons for this is municipal policy that unnecessarily locks up housing options,” says Garry Bhaura, TREB President. “We are encouraging homebuyers and renters to let municipal election candidates know their views through TREB’s new election campaign website: unlockmyhousingoptions.ca; it is easy as the website does all the work for you.”
The rising housing costs across the GTA have impacted residents in a variety of ways. 40% say it has affected their ability to save enough for retirement; 34% can’t save for larger purchases or vacation; 24% say it has affected their ability to buy a home; 20% say it affected their ability make upgrades to their home;12% are having a hard time saving for their child’s education; 11% actually put off having another child; and 67% believe their children will not be able to afford a home in the community in which they grew up.
According to BILD, approximately 115,000 new residents move to the GTA every year. By 2041, the population of the GTA is expected to hit 9.7 million. Only 33% of GTA residents believe the region is ready for the influx of people.
What do you think?