Why doesn't Canada build more houses?

Hey Canadians, I heard you guys have a housing crisis or something and that houses are really expensive over there.

Why don’t you build more? I thought you guys had more space or something.

There’s lots of houses and lots of space. What we have is a surplus of people making $60K Canadian feeling that they’re entitled to live in DT toronto or vancouver. Do Americans making $60K complain that they can’t own a single family home in DT NYC? No, because the idea would be treated as absurd. In Canada though, the entitlement is strong. Backed up with empirical proof like “my dad bought a house in toronto on a single income back in 1963, so why can’t I?”.

In the cities, there’s some pretty strong zoning laws designed to combat urban sprawl. The laws basicaly force infilling and building in and up, not out. So lots of land, but the urban areas are not supposed to gobble up the farmland.

And yes there’s a lot of land. Most of it has 0 infrascructure. No water, electricity, internet. something like 90% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the US border. The rest of the vase expanse is empty. Nobody wants to live there.

And lastly, speaking to my first point, there are still affordable places to live. e.g.:
That place is across the street from the houses that back onto waterfront - it could probably be advertised as waterfront views. For $359K Canadian. And, it’s about an hour to either Ottawa or Montreal, well within commuting distance. So when people say the can’t afford a house, they can. They just want their cake + nom nom.

I dunno but we certainly have people who feel that way in downtown San Francisco

Is Saskatchewan affordable?

asking for a friend

What about Calgary

I dunno, there are a lot of people who like to tout rent control as a solution

Agree with the absurdity though

Pretty much everything outside of Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver (maybe Calgary) is either affordable or downright cheap. The whole eastern seaboard, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia are relatively affordable.
That being said, where houses are competitive (toronto, etc), they’re not just competitive, they’re insane. Listed prices are irrelevant, you take a random shot at how much higher you can go and hope there’s not someone who’s gone even higher. Demand is nuts, people are getting dozens of offers within days, everyone competiting to see how high they can go.

I feel like Calgary is like the Houston of Canada but cold

Don’t do it.

I dunno man I visited someone on Spadina St and he says his dinky 3 bedroom single family home is like 5 million bucks or something. Like, the kind of place that would be worth $80k in northwestern Indiana. Kind of surprised that part of town hasn’t been condo-fied.

In my experience, yes. Although median income is 34k so the 60k person is doing decently already. But a lot of Americans make 34-60k and are frustrated they can’t afford a 600k house in downtown.

To be fair, the American economic divide has been widening and leaving a lot of people behind, with people buying up houses and using them for rental properties. It’ll take time but what America really needs is a wave of Boomers dying out of old houses and passing on generational wealth.

From what I hear though, Canada has a lot of foreign investors buying the houses, and they won’t be passing on their wealth to the people that could buy the homes. Seems that is worse than in America for whatever reason.

LWTwJO noted LN that the NYC mayoral candidates were asked how much a single-family dwelling costs in Brooklyn. They were all way off, too.

Answer is $900K.

There is a “the rent is too damn high” political party in new york

Yeah they kinda do.

Foreign money is a bit misleading. I’ve seen indications that foreign ownership is <5%.

However, with Canadian being so immigration heavy, there’s a lot of newer generational Canadians. And I suspect many of them are bringing in money from outside of Canada. That’s not foreign ownership, though maybe it’s foreign money.

I had the impression, forget what source, that foreign ownership, especially foreign ownership of recent purchases, was much above 5% in Vancouver. Even if true of Vancouver, it might not apply to other parts of Canada.

Chinese student goes to UBC. They stay and get their permanent residency. Gramps in China sends a million to buy a house
That may taste like foreign ownership, but it’s really not.

It’s exaggerated in Canada because the big cities can go as high as 50 percent of the pop are some version of new Canadians.

For scale, they answered 80K-100K. So clearly, they have no f-ing idea.

that’s horrifying. i’m not sure i can vote for any of these people if that was their answer.

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i also had to look up “single family dwelling” to make sure it means house, not apartment. although, i don’t think you can get a one bedroom apartment in brooklyn for 80-100k

yeah, just looked, not even a studio apartment for that little in brooklyn.

It happens where I am too. I have lots of Chinese friends who are studying for masters degrees that aren’t really needed, and are obvious cash cows for students like them (like the $65k+ programs at Columbia). Their dorm room happens to be an $800k three bedroom condo bought with family money, and sometimes they’ll ask me if I think it’s a good deal (I’m like wtf man).

I guess if you have the money go ahead, but what confuses me is I don’t see what the point is in getting a degree like that when it’s obviously not going to pay for itself with that kind of spending. When these kids graduate, they wind up getting the same $55k/year jobs that regular citizens get but without needing the $100k+ masters. Like their paycheck doesn’t even cover the association fees and taxes. Putting the money into the S&P would be a better deal…