Many people felt there would be an opportunity to get into the housing market during the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in Canada. Unfortunately, the epidemic fuelled a significant surge in home prices. That ideal has become unattainable due to the housing market’s rapid price escalation. New demand from investors and immigration might keep prices under pressure.
It used to be simpler to get into a starter home. A normal worker would only need a few years of full-time employment to save a reasonable amount for a down payment on a median-priced property. Home prices have soared in recent years, but people’s salaries have fallen. For example home prices in Ajax, Ontario, have reached previously unheard-of heights. Millions have cashed out, leaving many on the outside looking in, compelled to enter an overvalued market.
What do we do about the situation? No government wants to be responsible for possibly damaging investments, the economy or more. Do we need more inventory? More urban sprawl? How has the pandemic permanent changed the working habits of Canadians? These are some of the questions that politicians will have to answer. There is no silver bullet answer, but something will need to be done to hopefully bring the dream of home ownership back to first time home buyers.