The urban squeeze myth laid bare

Concerns about density are misplaced – Toronto and Vancouver have plenty of room to grow up and grow more affordable

The urban squeeze myth laid bareBy Josef Filipowicz and Kenneth P. Green The Fraser Institute Headlines about housing affordability in Canada mainly concern two cities – Toronto and Vancouver. In both cities and their surrounding areas, rental vacancies hover at or below one per cent, and home prices remain historically high. So Canada’s most desirable markets face tremendous pressure to…

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respect

Most conflicts would simply evaporate if everyone took the time to adhere to some simple and fundamental courtesies

Landlord-tenant conflicts often come down to respectWhy are tenants and their allies already protesting landlords in Vancouver as 2018 dawns? They’re outraged that a landlord would have the audacity to apply for an eviction order to remove a tenant who hasn’t paid the rent. How inconsiderate of them. And a few of those landlords are trying to make repairs to their…

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordable

As homes age, they should filter through various socio-economic strata. But construction approval roadblocks slow that process to a crawl

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordableBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The federal government’s new National Housing Strategy will benefit specific groups but doesn’t target broader affordability issues in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. The strategy includes a portable “housing benefit” of $2,500 per year, on average, to low-income households. It also proposes the construction or renovation of hundreds…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities

When investor neighbourhoods replace residential ones, civic sustainability is the big loser

Civic renewal that drains the soul – and people – from communities“We are basically not a self-sustaining society. There is no other way to provide amenities we need … currently land and development is one of Canada’s biggest exports,” Ian Egloff of Creekside Architects is quoted as saying in Kerry Gold’s real estate column in the Globe and Mail on Nov. 25. What a great oxymoron.…

Do you need mortgage insurance?

It depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation

Do you need mortgage insurance?“Did I need to take the insurance the bank sold me when I got my mortgage? Do I need mortgage insurance at all?” C.P. wrote and asked. I’m often asked this and the answer is usually the same: That depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation. The simple answer in…

Open the door to more affordable housing in Calgary

Calgary’s new city council must encourage secondary suites, remove parking requirements and streamline the housing permit process

Open the door to more affordable housing in CalgaryBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi won a third term last month, giving him four more years to address the city’s most pressing issues, including housing. Many Calgarians – like many Vancouverites, Torontonians and other Canadians – worry about housing affordability as the city continues to grow. Among…

More mortgage red tape could hurt homebuyers

OSFI wants to further stiffen the guidelines for those who put 20 per cent or more down when purchasing a home

More mortgage red tape could hurt homebuyersAmid widespread concern about housing affordability across Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the country’s safety and soundness financial regulator, wants to raise the mortgage bar for many potential homebuyers by revising its guideline on residential mortgage underwriting. The proposed revisions, which are intended to address risks associated with relatively high…

Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile up

When it comes to owning a home versus renting, you can’t just compare the amount of rent you would pay to the amount of a mortgage payment

Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile upShould I buy a home or rent? It’s a common question but the answer isn’t as simple you may think – it totally depends on your situation, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It’s usually better to own an asset that’s likely to go up in value than to rent an asset that’s…

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term pain

As much as rent control could benefit some existing renters, in the long run it reduces the incentive to build new rental housing

Ontario housing measures offer short-term gain but long-term painBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute The Ontario government introduced a raft of measures this summer aimed at reining in the price of buying or renting a home in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The goal is laudable and the approach may create some temporary reprieve – but the long-term consequences could be…