Measures to make housing more affordable wouldn’t be popular with voters: economist

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Building more homes is key but could devalue existing properties, says John Rapley. Federal party leaders are pitching their plans to address housing affordability, but according to one economics expert, the key solution is one that wouldn’t be popular among homeowners. “Canadian housing is not in crisis, it’s where Canadians want it,” said John Rapley, a political economist at the University of Cambridge, noting that Canadians value the gains they’ve made from a soaring housing market. But in order to make housing more affordable, more homes must be built — and that could mean taking a hit on returns from existing properties, he told Cross Country Checkup. “You can’t actually just say we’ll build cheap houses here and [have] all the other houses keep their same value. Once you add supply to the market, the price and everything comes down, and that’s not popular.”

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