Competing Public Policy Objectives

Competing Public Policy Objectives

In the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement, billions of dollars were committed and reaffirmed towards increased levels of new housing construction. This includes favourable loan agreements and tax benefits for developers of purpose-built rental buildings and public housing projects, as well as financial assistance for municipalities to crack down on short-term rentals in an effort to push more supply onto the resale market in urban centres.

“It is encouraging to see policy makers tackling Canada’s housing affordability issues and supply shortfall, yet there remains a large accessibility gap for first-time buyers and middle-income earners. Those that have salaries or wages that have not kept up with the cost of living find it difficult to achieve the dream of home ownership. Thankfully, many have received financial help from family or friends, yet this is not something Canadians should have to rely upon,” said Soper. “With competing policy objectives – record-high immigration to combat labour shortages, for example – I see little hope that housing construction will meet that need this decade. The demand/supply imbalance will put further upward pressure on home prices.

“While uncomfortably expensive housing in our major markets is inevitable, it is imperative that governments adopt quick and extraordinary measures to mitigate affordability challenges and address the housing supply crisis,” concluded Soper.


Greater Toronto Area

In the Greater Toronto Area, the aggregate price of a home in the fourth quarter of 2024 is forecast to increase 6.0 per cent year over year to $1,198,012. During the same period, the median price of a single-family detached property is expected to rise 7.0 per cent to $1,481,950, while the median price of a condominium is forecast to increase 5.0 per cent to $754,845.

“There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Canada’s economy and the real estate market these days, and that is especially true in the major centres like Toronto. What is certain is that Canadians need housing, they value home ownership and most are willing to prioritize buying a home over just about anything else,” said Karen Yolevski, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “We know there are still buyers on the sidelines waiting for interest rates to come down. What is unclear is how many can afford to jump back into the market at the first sign of a reduction, and how many truly cannot afford to transact in this environment.”

Yolevski added that a lot of future activity will be dependent not only on reduced interest rates, but the timing of mortgage renewals. Many would-be move-up buyers who have enjoyed ultra-low rates for the past few years will be willing to make a move as their current loan terms expire. No longer bound to their current property because of the interest rate, more of these owners will put their properties on the market and begin their search for a new home.

“The GTA is Canada’s most densely-populated region and continues to be the top destination for newcomers. Despite a temporary drop in sales, there remains a huge gap in the number of homes available and those needed to satisfy demand from middle-income earners. This continues to put significant pressure on the already-tight rental market.”

Yolevski also noted that investor-owned properties, namely condominiums, could add supply to the market over the next year or two, as mortgages come up for renewal and owners choose to sell rather than renew at a higher rate.

“If tenanted properties are not producing positive cash-flow, investors may choose to sell rather than renew their mortgages in this higher-cost borrowing environment. This, in addition to new legislation that incentivizes the development of purpose-built rental properties, could add some much-needed inventory to the entry-level market,” said Yolevski. “It will not be enough, however, to put downward pressure on prices.”



This content piece is a redacted version of the Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast and is meant for information purposes only. The full article can be found at