Ontario is going to need 1 million new homes over the next 10 years, according to the report Baby Needs A New Home: Projecting Ontario’s Growing Number of Families and Their Housing Needs. The report is from the Smart Prosperity Institute, funded by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.
Our populations is growing dramatically. From 2011 to 2016 the population of Ontario grew by 600,000 people. From 2016 to 2021 that number grew to 1 million. Over that same time, the rate of building new homes stayed about the same. Over the next 10 years, our province is expected to grow by 2.27 million people.
Currently, the report states Ontario is short 65,000 homes and without changes in our approach to
building housing, that gap will continue to grow.
In the Peterborough census division (which includes the City of Peterborough and the townships of Selwyn, Cavan Monaghan, Otonabee-South Monaghan, and
Douro-Dummer), the population is expected to grow by 15,400 people over the next 10 years. This is projected to add 6,601 additional households needing a home to live in.
This housing crunch has hit new levels over the last couple years. According to the Peterborough and
Kawarthas Association of Realtors, there is typically less than a month’s worth of housing inventory on the market, far lower than it has been over the last decade. All this has driven housing prices through the roof. The average house in Peterborough this year is selling for over $700,000. We’ve seen headline after headline about record house prices. The average house price has increased nearly 170% over the last decade.
It’s not just difficult to find a place to buy, but rental vacancy has been hovering just above 0% for a few years now.
It’s supply and demand.
While some people can afford to compete for the limited housing available locally, others are being left out of the market altogether.
Building wealth through real estate can be an effective economic driver, but there needs to be balance. Our community needs people from all walks of life to grow effectively and efficiently. If we’re going to welcome 6,601 new households in our community, whether that’s new residents coming to the region or our children growing up and establishing their own lives — they all need places to live.
To realize our potential growth and provide the quality housing our community needs, it’s going to require investment and cooperation. The City and its neighbouring townships as well as the provincial
government need to work together to provide the infrastructure, planning, and conditions to build more homes while growing our community in a responsible way that sets us up for
success down the road.
The City is also nearing the end of its decade-long Official Plan Update. This document guides all planning and growth for the City. There’s a public open house planned for Oct. 21 before the
document heads to a public meet at the City’s General Committee on Nov. 1.
It’s important that we get this right. It’s going to take leadership from our
governments, our community, and our business leaders. Right now the balance of supply and demand is heavily in the demand category and left unchecked it will continue to swing further. We know our community needs more supply. Ultimately, people need a place to live.