Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Kenora for that great speech on a topic I believe all of us as parliamentarians are very concerned with.
To begin, I want to read the motion into the record. I have been listening to a lot of the questions throughout this debate, and I want to get some people back on track as they ask questions because they have been a little off on things.
Our motion states:
That, given that,
(i) the government has failed to increase the housing supply in Canada,
(ii) the government's $400 billion of new spending has produced a surge of inflationary pressure that has driven home prices more than 30% above pre-pandemic levels,
the House call on the government to:
(a) review and consolidate all federal real estate and properties in Canada in order to make at least 15% available for residential development;
(b) ban foreign investors from purchasing Canadian real estate; and
(c) commit to never introducing a capital gains tax on the sale of primary residences.
I am going to start with that because, after hearing so many of the questions being asked here, I think we really have to talk about what the housing continuum looks like and what happens when we have bubbles on each rung of the housing continuum ladder. Where we are now is a heck of a lot worse than where we were just two years ago. I want to talk a lot about the housing continuum.
In my former role as the shadow minister for families, children and social development from 2015 to 2019, housing was under that portfolio. During that time, in November 2018, the national housing strategy was announced, and we saw a lot of spending that was to be happening further into the future. However, we have to look at where we are now, the reality today.
I work a lot, and very closely, with LSTAR, the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors. Of course, that is part CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association. I have had the opportunity to work with it in my role over the last six years, and previously in my role as an assistant to the member, so throughout those years I have really been paying attention to this. Perhaps it is because I am a mother of five and I do not want my 18-year-old living in the basement for the rest of his life, but these are things that are really important to me, such as the future for our children.
I am very fortunate that my husband and I were able to buy a house in 2002 at an expensive $114,000. Today, that house, with the addition we put on, is worth over six times that price. I can say that the value is so not there. I wondered how this happened, so I started looking at some of the simple solutions to the issues we are having, and one of the first things I want to talk about is supply.
I want to focus on the London and southwestern Ontario region. When we look at its housing supply in November of 2021, we see it was 0.4 units. Its supply 10 years before, in November 2012, was 4.8 units. Therefore, we have seen a decrease in supply of 4.4 units. That is part of our problem. If we cannot get things built, we have a problem.
The active listings under LSTAR for November of this year, 2021, were only 210 compared to 2012, when there were 1,625. The math is very simple. That is a difference of 1,400 listings.
Right now, when looking at housing and the average prices, they are between $625,000 and $632,000, with a median price of $662,500.
I represent Elgin—Middlesex—London. Part of that riding includes the County of Middlesex. In November of 2021, we saw that the average price for a home in Middlesex, and my colleague from Lambton—Kent—Middlesex is seeing the same prices, was $991,000, so I have been really focusing on this and looking to see what we can do.
Mike Moffat, who is a member of the Ontario Home Builders' Association, has talked about this crisis we are going through. From July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2021, we have seen Ontario's population grow by one million people in just five years. The demand and supply are totally mismatched. There are one million new people living in Ontario, but they have no home.
That is something we need to be concerned with. If we continue to grow our population, this is part of what we need to do. We always talk about viewing the things we are looking at through a lens. This is one issue we need to look at through with this lens.
What are we going to do for our infrastructure? What are we going to do for jobs and employment? For me, the question is what are we going to do for housing because, as everybody knows, housing first is very, very important as that first step to home ownership, and for livelihood as well. The projections have indicated that an additional 911,347 households will be formed in the next 10 years, so I am hoping that we can all work together, recognizing that this problem is not going to go away, so we need a solution.
I want to go back, though, to the costs because this is something that I think of in relation to myself and my five children. I look at my 27-year-old son. He has a family. He would like to buy a home. He has been saving his money after leaving the Canadian Armed Forces, and he would like to provide a home for his family. He has put approximately $30,000 into his bank account for savings, and we know that is far from enough for today.
I want to look at what the prices are today compared to what we saw pre-pandemic. In Elgin County, the benchmark price, what people are expecting to receive, is $524,000, but the average price these houses were selling for in February 2021 was $609,000. In South London, another part of my riding, $527,000 is the benchmark, but they are selling right now for $651,000. In Middlesex, we are seeing the same problems. In the city of St. Thomas, the area I live in, housing has gone up by $100,000 for a medium house. We went from $440,000 to $548,000 in one year.
I want to look at some of the statistics and look back at where we were in 2020 for the county of Elgin, where we have the city of St. Thomas, but where we also have 10 different municipalities making up Elgin—Middlesex—London. The average price in February 2020, just weeks before this pandemic started, was $387,000. In the city of St. Thomas, the average cost was $376,000. I just shared that we saw other prices of over $500,000.
I think of my constituents. What are they going to do? We have some of the best real estate agents and some of the best home builders. I think of Doug Tarry Homes, which has been part of the Ontario Home Builders' Association and does a lot of things with NRCan to make sure we have housing that is efficient. We are coming up with solutions. I am part of the LSTAR Libro housing coalition. We are working together in our region on what we can do better and look for some of the solutions. Therefore, land is something that we know is a problem.
I am going to refer back to the motion. When we talk about giving up some of the federal assets so we can build land, we are talking about, sometimes, open spaces. I think of my own downtown in St. Thomas. It is about two kilometres long. We know that there are a lot of offices. We know that there are a lot of private and government spaces that could be used for housing.
When it comes to working with our municipalities and our provinces, I urge members to make sure that, when we take a bite out of the housing problem we have, we have to work together. We have to look at how we can take some of these places and change them, and how we can take them from commercial entities to residential entities. That is the type of work we need to do.
We have talked a lot about what the future is for our children. I just want to read from a recent report from the Mustel Group and Sotheby's International Realty Canada. It revealed the issue of the dream. I just want to read from these statistics, which read “75% of urban [Canadian] Generation Z adults are likely to buy and own a primary residence in their lifetime”.
It then states that currently one in 10 people owns their own home, so that is a very small amount. One in 10 individuals owns their own home in generation Z. The article continues, saying that 82% are worried that they will not be able to buy in their community of choice due to the rising real estate costs.
I can say that is exactly what we are seeing. I am on that 401 corridor where we have seen people migrate from the GTA. I always say it is because we are one of the most beautiful constituencies in the entire country, but it is also because the cost of housing is lower there.
The article also states that 70% of people want to buy a family single home and that 50% have already given up the traditional dream.
We know that one of the top barriers is inflation. Before I finish, I will say that we have an issue. It is not just a housing crisis, but it is also the inflationary issue. If people are going to be putting money into their RRSPs so they can save money, the cost of living needs to be reduced. Therefore, I am asking the government to please step forward and help the next generation.