© Can Stock Photo / Elenathewise© Can Stock Photo / Elenathewise

Experts discuss housing market in Windsor-Essex

During a roundtable discussion hosted by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, many experts agreed to increase access to homeownership there needs to be a variety in the housing supply available.

The value of homes in Windsor-Essex continues to rise and for many, homeownership seems out of reach. The average home price in Windsor-Essex has risen 25 per cent from February 2020 and each month the demand outstrips supply.

"You need to get more inventory into the marketplace, more supply, more choice. If you want homeownership to stay within reach for that millennial daughter who has a great job, has the education but can't get out of their parent's house? Focus like a laser on increasing choice in the marketplace," said CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association Tim Hudak.

There are many community developments on the go right now aiming to do just that, but it is going to take time. Planning is still underway for the Meadowbrook affordable housing development which is expected to create 145 new units.

In addition, new apartment and condo developments are on the rise in the city. Between 2012 and 2018 only 71 apartment units were created in the city while in the last two years 551 were created. Permits for 108 more units have already been issued in 2021.

City Planner Thom Hunt says he would also like to see incentives and planning policies developed on a provincial level to ensure affordable housing options are available in all new developments.

"To provide for opportunities for affordable housing and mix those into private development. So where if there is a really good robust private development economy we want to see a portion or percentage of those units become affordable," said Hunt.

Hudak says upper levels of government could also pause land transfer taxes to encourage empty nesters to downsize freeing up family-sized homes to the market.

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