The Majority of GTA Residents Agree that More Construction of New Homes Will Help Housing Affordability, just not in their Backyards, a Home Building Industry and Realtors® Joint Ipsos Poll Finds

September 18, 2018

Greater Toronto, September 18, 2018 – The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) have come together to shed light on voters’ priorities and issues for the upcoming municipal elections. Together, BILD and TREB represent all facets of the real estate industry. This is the second joint release of municipal election related poll results by the organizations.

“Last week’s poll data clearly showed that housing affordability and supply are key issues for GTA residents. Residents expect municipal politicans to tackle these issues in the upcoming election,” said Garry Bhaura, TREB President.  

 “This week’s results show that building more new homes is seen, overwhelmingly, as a critical part of the solution to housing affordability. However, overcoming resistance to change and ‘not in my backyard’ sentiment in existing neighbourhoods is a huge barrier that municipal leaders can help overcome by taking a leadership role,” continued Mr. Bhaura.

Some of the key results from the poll are as follows:

  • There was a clear consensus on the role of new builds as a means of addressing the issue of housing affordability in the GTA:
    • 87 per cent of respondents indicated that it is important to build new homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) as a means toward addressing the issue of housing affordability.
    • Notably, GTA residents across all areas expressed this importance, including those living in York Region (87 per cent), Toronto (88 per cent), Peel Region (87 per cent), Durham Region (88 per cent), and Halton Region (81 per cent).
    • Those living in the 416 (88 per cent) feel slightly more strongly about the importance of new builds versus those in the 905 (86 per cent).

  • Nearly nine out of ten agree that municipal zoning by-laws should be reviewed, and changes considered, to allow for greater flexibility in creating middle-density housing types.
    • Those living in Toronto (89 per cent) are more likely to hold this view than those in living in the surrounding municipalities (85 per cent). 
  • Opposition to new build construction increases with proximity and density.
    • 30 per cent say they oppose the building of a new single family detacthed home within a half kilometer of their home;
    • 37 per cent say they oppose the building of a new townhouse development within a half kilometer of their home;
    • 44 per cent say the oppose the building of a stacked townhouse development (defined as middle-density housing) within a half kilometer of their home;
    • 49 per cent say they oppose the building of a small condo apartment building (defined as middle-density housing) within a half kilometer of their home;
    • 52 per cent say they oppose the building of a mid-rise condo apartment building (defined as middle-density housing) within a half kilometer of their home;
    • 59 per cent say the oppose the building of a high-rise condo apartment within a half kilometer of their home.

In order to accommodate the tremendous growth that the GTA has experienced in recent years, and the continued anticipated growth to 2041, policies of urban intensification and increased density of housing have been implemented by various levels of government. Resistance to new developments slows construction of new housing, negatively impacting supply and increasing housing prices.

“In order to build a livable GTA for the future, we need to be able to build more homes, faster. Clearly we need to have a broader discussion on how to accommodate growth, particularly in established neighbourhoods. I encourage citizens and municipal candidates to learn more about this at,” said Dave Wilkes, President and CEO, BILD.

“If we want to truly address housing issues in the GTA, we need to take a comprehensive approach and that means being open to innovative ideas and change.  Outdated zoning rules and other obstacles need to be reconsidered.  The same policies will get us the same results, and that’s just not good enough any more,” said John DiMichele, TREB Chief Executive Officer. 

“We are encouraging home buyers and renters to let municipal election candidates know their views through that clearly outlines the problem, the reason and the solution to some of the challenges we face. Getting involved and sharing your concerns is easy, as the website does all the work for you,” said DiMichele.

It is noteworthy that the Home Building Industry and REALTORS® have joined forces on this issue.

“With housing issues front and center in this municipal election, we are pleased to partner with TREB to bring these issue to light and encourage a dialogue on how we can collectively address housing supply and affordability,” added Wilkes.

About the GTA Municipal Elections Poll

For this survey, a sample of 1,503 GTA residents from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed from August 20 to 23, 2018. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects the overall population according to census information. The precision of online polls is measured using credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all adults in the GTA been polled. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population.

About the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD)

With 1,500 members, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.

About the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)

The TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1920 by a small group of real estate practitioners. Today, as Canada's largest real estate board, TREB serves more than 50,000 licensed real estate Brokers and Salespersons in and about the Greater Toronto Area. TREB is the collective voice for both its commercial and residential REALTOR® Members and operates under the direction of an elected voluntary Board of 16 Directors.