Commentary: Slowdown doesn’t necessarily translate to greater affordability

Commentary: Slowdown doesn’t necessarily translate to greater affordability

Commentary: Slowdown doesn’t necessarily translate to greater affordability While there have been recent signs of a cooldown in Canada’s two most in-demand real estate markets, would-be buyers must temper their expectations of a more affordable housing segment in the near future.

In her latest piece for CBC News, markets observer Sophia Harris noted that Toronto prices remain elevated compared to last year, and that the recent market sluggishness might “simply be a blip,” as was the case in Vancouver.

“And as long as Toronto and Vancouver's real estate markets continue to sizzle, many people will continue to find home ownership out of reach in these cities,” she wrote.

According to industry expert John Andrew, the Vancouver price decline was short-lived because B.C.’s 15-per-cent foreign buyers’ levy only ended up convincing prospective buyers to remain “on the sidelines to see how the tax would play out.”

“Any time you’ve got an uncertain market, that’s always a temporary effect,” Andrew explained. “Your demand is still greatly outstripping supply and you've got very strong appetite still from foreign investors who would appear to be just happily paying that 15 per cent tax.”

Harris cited the case of Emelia Symington Fedy, who has to move her family from Vancouver to Halifax due to soaring costs, even in the rental space that she, her husband, and her two children were using.

“I just don’t get to live here,” Symington Fedy lamented. They managed to purchase a four-bedroom residence in Halifax for just $350,000.

“I’ve given literally my heart to Vancouver. And so for it to not be reciprocated and to feel kicked out, broke my heart.”


Related stories:
A market on the rise amid apparent moderation in Canada’s two hottest cities
Government intervention might be moderating runaway markets—Morneau