Fraser Institute News Release: More housing was built in Canada during the 1970s than now

Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA

TORONTO, April 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Despite rising population and growing demand, more housing was constructed in Canadian cities during the 1970s than what is presently being built, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The reality is simple: Canada is not building enough homes to keep up with population growth or basic demand,” said Steve Lafleur, senior fellow with the Fraser Institute and co-author of Canada’s Housing Mismatch: Canadians want ground-oriented homes, but not enough are being built.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Canada’s real estate markets have experienced significant price increases.

The study finds that, Canada-wide home prices were 28 per cent higher in February 2023 than in March 2020, despite falling from record high appreciation in early 2022.

Critically, “ground-oriented” single-family homes and townhouse prices increased by 31 per cent, compared with a 17 per cent increase among apartments over the same period.

Despite strong demand, ground-oriented housing completions declined during the 2010s, alongside a general national decline in housing completions compared to the 1970s.

“Not only is there a widespread shortage of housing, but there is a growing mismatch between the housing types being built and those preferred by Canadians,” said Josef Filipowicz, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and study co-author.

“Clearly we should focus on the causes and consequences of this mismatch, as well as solutions for Canadians now and in the future.”

Steve Lafleur, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

Josef Filipowicz, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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Drue MacPherson
Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
Office: (604) 688-0221 ext. 721

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit