Due to the lack of greenfields and “unintended consequences”, Ontario may not have enough housing for the population in 2031.

The last year has been an interesting one for the Ontario real estate market. Housing prices have been going up and the selection has been diminished. Things are now taking another turn for the worse. The Building and Land Development Association (BILD) recently announced that approximately half of the land required to house the Ontario population by 2031 may not be an option.

This is due to the fact that the amount of greenfield lands required for house building is diminishing. It is thanks to a handful of “unintended consequences” of Ontario’s Places to Grow legislation. This means that the housing prices will continue to rise, especially in areas such as the GTA.

Planning consultant firm, Malone Given Parsons, recently published a study titled: “Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Land Supply Analysis”. The study stated that the area has approximately 12,800 acres that are currently available for housing. This is equivalent to approximately 4.5% of the land that has already been built on or is scheduled to be built on. This was a 6% drop from the previous year

Of the 12,800 acres, about 55% has already been claimed for. Although, the BILD has stated that, “these were the easier lands to develop, with enough infrastructure”. Areas such as York and Peele Region have approximately 40% of their land already claimed. This makes them difficult areas to build in. Although, areas such as the Halton Region only has approximately 20% of their land claimed.

BILD CEO David Wilkes feels it is going to get worse

The GTA region has been growing rapidly over the past few years. The area sees an annual growth of approximately 115,000 people. This growth has made the area extremely populated, making purchasing a house both difficult and expensive. The average price of a condo in the GTA was approximately $798,643. Some areas saw a 300% increase over the past decade. This may seem rough now, but BILD CEO David Wilkes feels it is going to get worse. “All things being equal—the pace of development being similar, no significant changes—mid-2023 to 2025 you really start seeing a lack of grade-related (ground level) new housing lands coming on stream,” stated Wilkes.


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