It is no secret that Canada needs more housing. Prices are getting out of hand in the major cities when a million dollars won’t buy the average home but it is problematic in virtually all parts of the nation.
The economists at CIBC have wrapped their arms around this story and they paint a picture that is going to get worse before it gets better.
Yes, higher interest rates are making it more difficult for homeowners to buy or renew their mortgages. This gives builders second thoughts about increasing their starts for fear of being left holding the bag on new properties where buyers don’t qualify for financing.
Then there’s one other angle making the situation more challenging — labour. Even if we collectively decided to construct more houses, builders may not be able to fill the orders.
Their capacity is strained and the percentage of their workforce that is over the age of 55 has never been higher plus the volume of registered apprentices has declined 15 per cent in the last decade.