Oct 23, 2021 1 min, 3 secs
Too little housing supply meets rock-bottom interest rates, and already-high prices surge some more, in cities in particular.

Those cities are where job opportunities are greatest, yet all that unaffordable housing discourages people from moving to where economic prospects are best.

From Toronto to Vancouver and Auckland to Wellington, a lot of residential land in cities is restricted to the least density possible.

And the dynamics driving up the price of home ownership are also doing the same for rental housing.

That’s not just a problem for those priced out of Canada’s cities.

Canada’s cities are its engines; if housing costs prevent people from moving to them, the result is likely to be less economic growth.

New research from economics Nobel laureate David Card, looking at American data, showed that while bigger cities offer jobs with higher earnings, those moving to cities for those higher incomes end up worse off, because of excessive housing costs.

The Liberals pledged $4-billion to cities that “tackle NIMBYism.” The Conservatives wanted to tie transit funding to increased density near new transit.

In September, state lawmakers finally passed legislation to end most single-family zoning, to allow for duplexes, and add higher density in cities near transit.

They need more housing, and more affordable housing.


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