LONDON, Ontario, MARCH 31, 2022. --- The organizations that represent many of London’s home builders and developers have issued an independent research report on the city’s housing supply crisis. London Development Institute (LDI) and the London Home Builders Association (LHBA) commissioned the report. They are providing the report to the City of London and other interested organizations. They hope to encourage informed discussions that will foster made-in-London solutions.
“Many of the provincial government’s proposed solutions are more focused on Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) than cities outside of it,” said Mike Wallace, LDI Executive Director. “We need planning tools and local solutions that will work in London.”
Jared Zaifman is Chief Executive Officer of LHBA and co-sponsor of the report. He said, “We see the evidence of this crisis everyday. Demand is so high, waitlists for new builds and renovations can be a year or longer. Rental availabilities are scarce, as are for sale signs. Our organizations wanted to look below the surface of these traditional indicators. All of us need to better understand the supply crisis facing our city. Rather than opinion, we wanted hard data.”
Titled The Growth of London Outside of London, the report shows that the area’s rapidly growing population growth, for the most part, is coming from families moving away from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). However, new housing development to support this growth is increasingly happening outside of the municipal boundaries of the city.
“Increasingly, the housing being built to support that population is being built outside of the London’s municipal boundaries,” said Mike Moffatt, author of the report. Moffatt is the Senior Director of policy and innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute and an Assistant Professor at Ivey Business School, Western University.
For example, the report shows while single-detached home construction was up 10% in London, relative to the previous five years, in the rest of Elgin-Middlesex outside of London, it is up 80%. Over the same five-year period, more than half of all single-detached homes and a whopping 96% of semidetached homes were built outside of the city of London.
The London area including Middlesex is Ontario’s fastest growing metro area, fourth only to three cities in British Columbia. SPI analysed preliminary 2021 Census data and components of population growth data from Statistics Canada and housing completions data from the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC).
Wallace said, “The growth of the communities around London, while bringing many benefits, will also stress London’s municipal tax base. Residents living outside will use London’s infrastructure to shop and work but not pay property taxes to the City. If they are working in the city, that means more commuters, more cars, and more emissions.”
“The housing supply crisis did not occur overnight,” Zaifman said. “The solutions will take time to develop and implement. But we must begin these discussions now. It is more critical than ever.”
The report is the first of two reports on London’s housing supply crisis sponsored by LDI and LHBA. The second report will focus on possible solutions and be released later this spring. The housing industry groups will be seeking input from organizations affected by the supply crisis including the City of London, not-for-profit developers, employers, and labour unions.
About Smart Prosperity Institute
Smart Prosperity Institute is a national research network and policy think tank based at the University of Ottawa. We deliver world-class research and work with public and private partners – all to advance practical policies and market solutions for a stronger, cleaner economy.
About the London Development Institute (LDI)
LDI is a member-based organization representing most large land developers in the London area. LDI has been the leading voice on development issues in our city for more than 40 years. Our goal, working with our partners in local government and the community, is to build a better London.
About the London Home Builders’ Association (LHBA)
The London Home Builders' Association provides a forum for its members to share information and experience; promote ethical building and business practices; be the voice of the residential construction industry in London; and work towards the betterment of our community.