Toronto, ON, June 13, 2017 — With the provincial election less than a year away, most Ontarians want to see Ontario’s political parties tackle the issue of housing affordability as they try to woo prospective voters to their camps, according to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of OREA, OHBA and FRPO.
Most (85%) agree (37% strongly/48% somewhat) that Ontario political parties should commit to addressing home affordability as part of their 2018 election platforms. Moreover, most agree that that they would be more likely to vote for a party whose platforms promotes home affordability (80% agree – 30% strongly/50% somewhat). Among prospective first-time homebuyers, 91% want to see affordability addressed in party platforms, and 90% agree (59% strongly) that they would be more likely to vote for a party whose platform promotes affordability.
Two in ten (21%) Ontarians would include home affordability in their list of top-three issues that will determine who they would vote for in the next election – even ahead of other important issues such as the environment (19%), education (16%) and transit (13%). The issue of housing affordability is of particular importance to Millennials (28%). As is typically the case, healthcare (48%) tops Ontarians’ list of important election issues, followed by hydro rates (47%), taxes (39%) the economy (33%) and jobs (31%).
Thinking about one idea to improve affordability, two in three (63%) ‘agree’ (21% strongly/42% somewhat) that ‘the provincial government needs to encourage more housing supply by reducing regulation on the home-building industry’.
Ontarians Supportive of Fair Housing Plan
Ontarians are broadly supportive of various provisions of the Ontario government’s new Fair Housing Plan – a 16-point plan that aims at making housing more affordable. The plan comes just in time, as a growing number of Ontarians compared to a year ago agree (88%, +6 points) that owning a home now is more difficult than it was in their parents’ generations, and will become more difficult for the next generation (90%, + 6 points). In response to the new Plan, seven in ten (71%) agree (17% strongly/55% somewhat) that ‘the provincial government’s Fair Housing Plan will be effective at making home ownership more affordable in Ontario’.
When it comes to a few specific planks of the Fair Housing Plan:
- Nine in ten (89%) ‘support’ (39% strongly/50% somewhat) the commitment to do a broad review of the rules governing the real estate industry in Ontario.
- Eight in ten (81%) ‘support’ (44% strongly/37% somewhat) the introduction of a 15% non-resident speculation tax on any individual who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Two in three (68%) ‘support (29% strongly/39% somewhat) the idea of permitting municipalities to introduce a vacant homes property tax.
Thinking about how the Ontario Fair Housing Plan has impacted their decision to buy a home, most (55%) Ontarians say it hasn’t impacted them and for those it has the impact appears mixed and uncertain. For example, equal numbers say they plan to buy a home sooner (10%) as will put their home search on hold for now (10%), although first-time buyers are more likely to put their search on hold (14%), while those in the 416 are more likely to say they’ll buy a home sooner (19%). One in ten (9%) plan to buy a less expensive home than their original budget, while 3% plan to buy a more expensive home. One in ten (8%) have expanded their search to communities they weren’t previously looking in.
Conversely, thinking about how the Ontario Fair Housing Plan has impacted their decision to sell a home, most (69%) Ontarians say it hasn’t. Nearly equal proportions plan to put their home selling on hold (10%) as plan to sell their home sooner (8%), and the scale is equally balanced among those who plan to increase (4%) or lower (4%) their selling price.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 29 and 31, 2016, on behalf of OREA, OHBA and FRPO. For this survey, a sample of 2,003 Ontarians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontario adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Ipsos Public Affairs
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Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry. With offices in 88 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs research, and survey management. Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.
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