Executive Summary: This report examines the argument that the housing affordability crisis in many Canadian cities is the product of a constrained supply of housing units. Utilizing publicly-available Statistics Canada census data, and examining the period from 2001-2016, the report evaluates the responsiveness of housing unit supply to resident demand across 33 Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).
The research findings indicate that there is little evidence to support claims that i) the supply of housing units is systematically more limited in expensive housing markets than in inexpensive ones, and that ii) the supply of housing units in expensive markets has been inadequate to keep up with growth in household numbers and maintain a healthy buffer stock of surplus housing units. In metropolitan Vancouver, especially, the imputed relationship among affordability, supply, and resident demand, has, in fact, been turned on its head: prices have skyrocketed at the same time as the proportion of surplus housing units, relative to the number of households, has increased over the 2001-2016 period.
For full report: http://www.kpu.ca/sites/default/files/The%20Housing%20Supply%20Myth%20Report%20John%20Rose.pdf