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To help alleviate housing affordability issues plaguing the Greater Toronto Area, governments should focus on building out the region’s transit network, suggests a real estate analyst.
“I’ve always pointed to additional transit spending,” said Ben Myers, senior vice president of market research and analytics for Fortress Real Developments, on BuzzTV.
“There’s a lot of areas now that wouldn’t be viewed as the neighbourhood that people want to live in and part of that is… [these areas] just can’t get access to good jobs,” he added.
With improved transit, lower-priced homes found in more distant GTA communities could become realistic options for more buyers as they would be able to more cheaply commute to work.
“If we could add additional subway lines, if we could add more transit, if we could do more service on the GO lines and quicker access to move people throughout the Greater Toronto Area — I think that’s one of the key things, to allow people from different markets to move around and access those jobs,” said Myers.
When improvements are made to transit, nearby residential property values can increase by up to 12 per cent as a result, the Toronto Real Estate Board recently said in its Market Year In Review & Outlook Report 2017.
But doesn’t that mean housing becomes even more unaffordable? Not according to TREB, which noted there are other considerations. “At the level of individuals who change their commute to work from a car to taking the GO Train, the affordability benefits are significant,” the report explained.
“Home prices notwithstanding, for many communities across the [Greater Golden Horseshoe], the introduction of transit can substantially reduce costs related to shelter, therefore improving the overall affordability of housing in a given area,” said TREB.
Myers, who has contributed to BuzzBuzzNews in the past, added, “People want access to good jobs. So the easiest way to do that is just to move people quickly.” See the rest of the BuzzTV interview below: