StatCan highlights housing supply dynamics in largest cities

Condos accounted for more than half of new housing supply in Toronto and Vancouver

StatCan highlights housing supply dynamics in largest cities

From 2019 to 2021, housing stock growth consistently outpaced the rate of population increase in the country’s largest census metropolitan areas, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

During this period, population growth in Toronto (1.3%) and Vancouver (2.1%) was outstripped by the addition of 61,320 residential properties in Toronto (a 3.5% gain) and 28,085 units in Vancouver (up by 3.6%).

“More than half of this growth was attributed to condominium apartments,” StatCan said. “However, while population and housing stock growth are indicators of supply and demand, they are not the sole determinants of housing prices in these CMAs. Other factors such as income, macroeconomic conditions, and pre-existing shortages in housing supply also play an important role.”

Significant divergences were also apparent in the two cities’ market trends, especially when it comes to multiple residential units.

“While Toronto saw a net increase of 55 of these properties from 2019 to 2021, Vancouver saw a net increase of 6,020,” StatCan said. “[In] Vancouver, more concentrated forms of density have emerged, such as single-detached houses with secondary suites or laneway units, duplexes, or triplexes.”

“The modest number of such new properties in Toronto is not proportional to the number of dwellings added to the stock,” the agency stressed.

StatCan also looked at the number of vacant parcels of land in the largest markets, stating that the metric is “a major determinant of housing supply and affordability.”

The number of available vacant land properties markedly fell in some provinces from 2019 to 2021, especially in Ontario (-6,680).

“This trend can be explained by several factors, including new greenfield residential construction and land assembly (adjacent vacant land properties being bundled into a single parcel),” StatCan said. “At the CMA level, Toronto saw a larger decline in vacant land properties than any other CMA covered, with an overall decrease of 11.8% (-4,305) from 2019 to 2021.”