Don't let housing policy dent GTA economy warn Realtors

By Steve Randall

The positive economic impact of the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area must not be damaged by housing policy.

That’s the message from a new report from the Toronto Real Estate Board which is calling for all levels of government to consider the effect of policies and interest rates on the province’s homeownership capabilities.

“The importance of the housing sector to the regional economies of the GTA is clear. All levels of government must be mindful of the potential impact of housing policies on the market, from the perspective of economic growth, jobs and government revenues,” said TREB president Tim Syrianos. “As we move toward a provincial election, TREB encourages all candidates to make their housing policy direction clear so that it may be debated.”

He said that supply of homes is a hot topic that has yet to be addressed.

According to data from Altus Group, for every home transaction in the region, there is a spin-off benefit of $68,275 for the economy and with 90,000 transactions in 2017 that meant 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars were positively impacted by the housing market.

“The fundamentals underlying the demand for ownership housing will remain sound in 2018. Population growth will continue to be driven by immigration and job growth will be sustained across a diversity of economic sectors. However, we must be cognizant of the fact that, in the short term, higher borrowing costs and the effects of federal and provincial policy decisions will act as a drag on demand for ownership housing, particularly in the first half of 2018,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

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