The Rise of Investor Ownership and the Housing Crisis with Jeremy Withers

According to the data, more and more new housing is being purchased without the intention of being the home that the buyer lives in.

Photo by Rivage on Unsplash.

Listen to the full conversation on the Perspectives Journal podcast, available to subscribe on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAmazon Music, and all other major podcast platforms.

The housing crisis is apparent for most ordinary Canadians, especially for those paying rents and mortgages that feel increasingly out of reach. Recent data shows that among wealthy countries, Canada’s housing cost increases have seen the fastest decoupling from income growth, and with that accelerated price inflation, according to Jeremy Withers, a new class of housing investors has grown.

According to the data, more and more new housing is being purchased without the intention of being the home that the buyer lives in. This trend has increased over time, all across Canada, and investors have become a very big proportion of home owners. It isn’t just new condos that investors are buying—single-family homes are increasingly owned by families that don’t live in them.

To understand more about what’s behind these trends, Clement Nocos spoke with Jeremy Withers, a housing policy researcher and PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography & Planning

Withers’ article Addressing the Rise of Investor Ownership of Housing, Part 1: Assessing the Scale and Impacts across Canada was published in the inaugural issue Perspectives Journal, where he analyzes these stark realities and trends for home ownership in Canada.

The 2024 Ellen Meiksins Wood Prize is awarded to economist Dr. Isabella Weber for critical research on economic shocks and inflation that equip Canadian progressives with alternatives that push back against anti-democratic policy choices and help to empower workers.

Each year’s prize recipient also delivers the Ellen Meiksins Wood Lecture. We invite you to join us on Thursday, May 30 for the 2024 Ellen Meiksins Wood Lecture at Toronto Metropolitan University, at the Sears Atrium (3rd Floor, George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre), starting at 7pm EDT, followed by a reception with light refreshments.

Professor Isabella Weber is an economist and a leading voice against corporate profiteering, identifying economic shocks as the cover that the rich and powerful use to raise prices and put the working-class through an affordability crisis.

Her analysis has come to accurately illustrate the forces behind today’s price inflation, and why governments have not effectively addressed the affordability crisis.

Weber has advised policy makers in the United States and Germany on questions of price stabilization, and is now a regular feature in the business papers. For her work on “Sellers’ Inflation,” she has been profiled in the New YorkerJacobin Magazineand recognized as one of TIME100 Next by US Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Tickets to the 2024 Ellen Meiksins Wood Lecture are now available:

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