Parties’ arguments over housing affordability are unlikely to influence election results: Environics Analytics


TORONTO – As federal party leaders outline their plans to make homeownership more affordable for Canadians, new data from Environics Analytics suggests these policy announcements are unlikely to influence election results in a significant number of constituencies.

That’s because there is a relatively small percentage of Canadian households planning to purchase real estate in the next year, according to projections from Environics Analytics.

Projections show that only 6.7 percent, or one million of Canada’s 15 million households, intend to purchase real estate in the next year.

“That’s a relatively small percentage of households considering entering the real estate market,” Rupen Seoni of Environics Analytics told in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“So if you don’t plan to enter the real estate market, or if you don’t want to enter the real estate market, housing policies may not be as relevant to you or motivate your vote as a lot.”


As to who intends to buy real estate in the near future, Seoni said it varies depending on the segment of the population. To understand this, Environics Analytics analyzed voter behaviors and demographics to create 15 voter segments.

Among these voter segments, Seoni said political promises to make housing more affordable disproportionately attracted voters from the “Big City Burbs”, “Youth in Cities” and “Young in the City” segments.

In the “Big City Burbs” segment – a collection of prosperous suburbs found primarily in C. 10 percent of households intended to be in the housing market within the next year.

This was also the case for the “Jeunes en Villes” segment, which is made up of young people living in the central neighborhoods of Quebec cities and has many well-educated professionals with a relatively high cultural diversity, where around 10% planned to buy real estate.

Projections show that only 6.7 percent, or one million of Canada’s 15 million households, intend to purchase real estate in the next year.

Finally, in the “Young in the City” segment, which is the Anglo equivalent of “Jeunes en Ville”: young single people and highly educated couples from large cities in English Canada, around 8% of households intended to get started. in the real estate market.

“The populations that are likely to be in the market, they reflect where the housing markets, for the most part, are hot, right in and around major cities,” Seoni said. “You have a mix of young people, and you have kinds of families, younger or more mature, and families, who are probably trying to expand their houses.”

Notably, the data showed that none of the major ridings with the highest percentage of households intending to purchase real estate were in British Columbia, despite the province’s vibrant real estate market.

“Obviously, when it comes to people intending to buy a home, what I’m extrapolating from this information is that there may be some kind of latent demand for new housing in the future. BC, but it’s so expensive a lot of people just say, “I’m not even going to try,” Seoni said.


Seoni said it was interesting to find out that of the 41 ridings with the highest percentage of households intending to be in the market, the majority (34) were Liberal strongholds in the 2019 federal election.

“What I found super interesting about the actual distribution of ridings where you see the highest percentage of households that intend to be in the market for a home is how good they were. massively liberal in the last election, that blew me away, “he said. noted.

Additionally, Seoni said, of those 41 ridings, very few were competitive in the 2019 election and most were won by margins of 20% or more over the second-place party.

“[I’m] I’m not saying that there couldn’t be upheaval in any of these ridings where they might change parties, but it probably won’t be just about this issue, ”he said.

View the full screen version of the Esri Canada interactive map

Ultimately, Seoni said that if parties were just trying to create policies with targeted benefits for a specific segment of voters, in this case potential buyers, he doesn’t think this will be the most effective strategy for them. earn votes based on their data.

However, he said there is an opportunity for the parties to increase their brand image by trying to fill the gaps in the housing market as part of their principled platform policies and doing the right thing. for Canadians.

“In fact, addressing the underlying shortcomings in the housing market would be the right thing to do,” he said. “And there seems to be enough interest in it that hopefully the parties will step up and come up with policies that will actually fix the things that are wrong.”


Purchase intent estimates for housing marketing come from Environics Analytics’ Optics powered by Vividata database. Estimates are updated annually based on survey data from Vividata which is projected onto six-digit postal codes using geodemographic modeling methods. Property values ​​come from EA WealthScapes database, which contains annual neighborhood-level estimates for about 100 financial variables (types of assets and debt), of which about 20 of these are updated quarterly.

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