Housing supply crisis: Time for “alarm bells,” says RE/MAX president

Houses for sale in Ottawa

“Twenty-nine per cent [29%] of new Canadians are going to Toronto and about 10% are going to Vancouver, and another 10-12% are going to Montreal. So our big cities [face] an immense pressure to have inventory, and we’re short.”

Sky-high demand and lack of supply have helped to drive up the price of homes in the country’s hottest markets in recent years, with Alexander describing Toronto and Vancouver as the two areas of most concern because those two urban centres have seen the most dramatic price increases during that time.

Montreal, Calgary, and Halifax aren’t far behind; in fact, the latter had just 1,100 total listings for sale in July for a population of just under 500,000, Alexander said.

No one-size-fits-all solution can be applied to Canada’s housing inventory problem, according to Alexander, particularly with each city home to unique factors that aren’t the same across the board.

Still, the process could be streamlined and accelerated by reducing bureaucracy and other barriers to construction, he said.

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