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Worries over soaring housing costs not confined to Vancouver, Toronto: poll

The high cost of housing is not only a concern for people living in Toronto and Vancouver, but for most Canadians residing in urban cities across the country, according to a new poll.
The high cost of housing is not only a concern for people living in Toronto and Vancouver, but for most Canadians residing in urban cities across the country, according to a new poll. Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

The high cost of housing is not only a concern for people living in Toronto and Vancouver, but for most Canadians residing in urban cities across the country, according to a new poll.

As home prices continue to soar in real estate hotspots Toronto and Vancouver, results from a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute suggests that nearly half of Canadians living in an urban centre feel the cost of homes are “unreasonably high” or “high.”

Of the 5,867 survey respondents, 56 per cent said housing prices in their neighbourhoods are outside of what’s “reasonable.” However, the poll results revealed that 32 per cent of respondents feel housing prices in their cities are “reasonable overall” while five per cent said prices “may be a bit low.”

The survey was conducted online between Feb. 2 and 10.

READ MORE: New mortgage rules are about to hit first-time buyers in hot housing markets

Looking at smaller housing markets, nearly 45 per cent of the respondents living in Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Halifax, said housing costs are “high” or “unreasonably high.”

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According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average home price in Metro Vancouver is $1,083,177 and 70 per cent of the survey respondents living in the Vancouver area said the cost is “unreasonably high” while 17 per cent said “high.”

In Toronto, where the average price of a home is $631,092, 46 per cent of the respondents said the prices are “unreasonably high” while 32 per cent said “high.”

Average home price by polling city (according to data compiled in January)
Edmonton: $339,714
Calgary: $439,552
Winnipeg: $273,154
Montreal: $337,894
Halifax: $262,027
Toronto: $631,092
Vancouver: $1,083,177
Canada overall: $470,297

Results from the poll also showed that nearly two-in-three Canadians (66 per cent) feel the “government should get more involved” in the real estate sector while 34 per cent feel the “government should stay out and leave to the industry to manage itself.”

MORE: Latest coverage — The Great Canadian Housing Boom 

Earlier this month, new mortgage rules came into effect aimed at cooling the housing market in major Canadian cities by increasing the minimum down payment.

The new minimum amount a buyer will have to put down on a home worth half a million dollars or more will increase from 5 per cent of the price to a blended, higher rate: five per cent down on the first $500,000, and 10 per cent down on any dollar value above that amount.

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with a file from Jamie Sturgeon