When it comes to the question of whether we’re building too many homes in Canada, economists at Bank of Montreal are suggesting everyone should just relax, even in Toronto where condos are popping up like dandelions, reports The Globe and Mail.
The bank released information in two slides to make the point. One shows the number of homes on which construction has begun across the country in recent years. “With the exception of a brief spurt in condo starts in early 2012 and a few weak winter months, Canadian housing starts have been tucked neatly in a 175,000-to-205,000 per-year range since late 2009,” BMO’s Robert Kavcic notes.
In a separate chart, BMO’s Sal Guatieri says that Toronto’s homebuilding is on a sustainable track. The pace of new construction suggests about 35,000 new homes will be started this year, while census data suggests that 38,000 new households will be formed, he suggested.
But Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal actually suspects that much of the concern about overbuilding might be based on outdated data.
He says that most economists are working off of old numbers that significantly underestimate the number of temporary residents we have, both in Toronto and Canada, such as students and temporary workers.