Why Canada lags Australia in tracking the housing market – Globe and Mail

Jeff Evans

There is a recent article in the Globe and Mail that discusses the ability of the Australian government to track their housing market statistics better than Canada’s government. From the article:

The paper laid out the rationale for these discussions. “The composition of housing and mortgage markets is becoming unbalanced,” it said. “This has been most evident in the current strength of investor activity in the housing market, and in its concentration in Sydney and Melbourne.”

It would be hard for Canadian authorities to make a similar statement – we don’t have solid statistics on investor activity in this country’s residential real estate market. (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. recently attempted to get a handle on some of the investment activity in Toronto and Vancouver’s condo markets. Its survey was a good start, but had deficiencies, and there is much more to be studied.)

I have a difficult time believing that the Canadian government lacks the ability to track the housing market the way that Australia does, but it is definitely possible, and makes sense considering the policy decisions that the Canadian government has made the past 5 years, to make it increasingly difficult for Canadians to buy an owner-occupied residence (especially in Vancouver) while the changes have had a far smaller impact on investors to buy homes.


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