Toronto Homes Sitting Empty Despite Housing Shortage

Dated: March 23 2022

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Toronto is one of those few places where housing prices have skyrocketed in recent years. A house used to cost about $200,000 costs a lot more now, 25 years later, at about $1.1 million on average. The price has gone up more than 450% from 1996 to 2021, and high demand is one of the primary factors for such an increase. However, the practical market and statistics shed light on a different picture. 

 

True or False: Many Homes in Toronto are Empty

As the prices have skyrocketed, plenty of homes are sitting empty for long periods. Many believe that it's a result of a critical supply shortage. An analysis done for ten years compiling data from real estate experts shows surprising data. 

 

The study concluded that there were 1.3 million empty homes in the whole country. The study was conducted in 87 of the top 150 cities. A significant drop in vacancies was noted in Whitechurch, Stouffville, and Windsor with 38% of vacancies. 

 

On the other hand, the largest city, Toronto's vacancy rate has been climbing for a decade, with a 5-7 percent increase annually. The current vacancy rate is at 36 percent. However, neighborhoods like Halton and Ajax saw the lowest vacancy, only about 2%. 

 

The Reality Is... 

Some other experts have noted that others have misinterpreted the data about vacancies. The data shows a high level of unoccupied houses because people own multiple homes. Analyzing the statistics, it was clear that many individuals were confused by the differences between unoccupied and vacant housing. Further clarification is needed to define the true meaning of unoccupied versus the number of unoccupied days – whether they were occupied on the census day. 

Although the data shows a lot of things, one thing is clear the number of vacancies is not the same everywhere – while Toronto sees a steady increase, some other areas are seeing a decline over time.

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