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Survey reveals concerns over housing affordability and accessibility in Western Ontario

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The Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors, Huron Perth Association of Realtors, London and St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) and Woodstock Ingersoll Tillsonburg and Area Association of Realtors recently conducted a study that revealed most residents in the region believe it has good access to daily activities and is an excellent environment for raising a family. However, they’re concerned about housing and economic stability.


Top issues: Cost of living, housing accessibility and affordability


“Residents identified cost of living, as well as housing accessibility and affordability, as the top two issues across the region,” says Kathy Amess, LSTAR 2024 chair. “In LSTAR’s jurisdiction, these issues resonate the strongest with residents between the ages of 18 and 34 years old, with 58 per cent saying that cost of living is the issue elected officials should be focusing on the most.”

About two-thirds of homeowners needing to renew their mortgage are concerned about affording monthly payments. Nearly half of all respondents feel that housing will become less affordable in the next five years.


Provincial government should do more


Amess notes that many of the region’s residents believe increased immigration to Canada is the most important factor connected to housing affordability. “Nearly 40 per cent say housing has become unaffordable and expensive because the population is growing too fast.”

86 per cent of respondents believe the provincial government should prioritize making housing more affordable. “Respondents want to see more from all levels of government,” Bill Madder, LSTAR CEO, says. “There is no silver bullet to address the housing crisis and it will require a collaborative effort, between government and all sectors of the community.”


Headed in the right direction


Still, most Western Ontario residents feel their region is headed in the right direction, with nearly 75 per cent of respondents saying they have an excellent or good quality of life.

Madder notes this is encouraging since recent findings from Abacus Data show 25 per cent feel things in Canada are headed in the right direction. “The data indicates Western Ontario as a very desirable place to live and we should be proud of that.” 


Review the full survey results here.


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