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Canada's housing crisis will persist on tradespeople shortage, CBRE says

Canada's housing crisis continues to loom large, with a shortage of skilled tradespeople posing a significant obstacle to resolving the issue, warns a prominent figure in the real estate sector.

As the nation gears up for its next general election, slated for 2025, housing has taken center stage, propelled by a scarcity of residences and a population surge, both of which have contributed to soaring prices. According to a study conducted in 2022 by Canada's national housing agency, an additional 3.5 million homes are needed to alleviate the crisis. However, achieving this target would necessitate more than doubling the current construction rate.

Paul Morassutti, Chairman of CBRE Group Inc. in Canada, highlighted the stark reality during the Vancouver Real Estate Forum. He emphasized the critical shortage of tradespeople, stating, “The inconvenient truth is that we are not going to hit those targets — we will likely not get anywhere close to those targets. Even if we had approvals across the country to build thousands of units, we cannot physically build them, because we don’t have enough trades.”

Morassutti underscored the urgency for policymakers to take decisive action, characterizing the situation as a crisis. Despite hopes for a downturn in home prices, the imbalance between supply and demand has persisted and may exacerbate once prospective buyers re-enter the market.

Addressing the magnitude of the challenge, Morassutti remarked, “The scale of the problem, which has been many years in the making, is massive. Income inequality and housing affordability are very pernicious issues. Left unaddressed, the damage to our social and economic fabric will only worsen.”

The housing crunch reflects broader concerns about social equity and economic stability. Without intervention, the repercussions could be profound, extending far beyond the realm of real estate. As Canada grapples with this pressing issue, the need for innovative solutions and concerted efforts from stakeholders across sectors becomes increasingly apparent.

In conclusion, the shortage of skilled tradespeople stands as a formidable barrier to addressing Canada's housing crisis. With implications reaching into the social and economic spheres, urgent action is imperative to avert further damage and pave the way towards a more equitable and sustainable housing landscape.



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