‘Buyer gridlock’ creates new ways of climbing the property ladder

Defeated house hunters in Toronto and Vancouver who feel that the supply of affordable homes must be shrinking aren’t entirely imagining the phenomenon.

Beata Caranci, chief economist at Toronto-Dominion Bank, says the houses listed for sale are increasingly tilted towards the upper end of the market. Her report, entitled Moving on the Monopoly Board: Buyer Gridlock in the Toronto and Vancouver Housing Markets, illustrates how the change is shifting the way people get onto the property ladder and how they climb up once they get there.

Ms. Caranci was prompted to drill into the numbers behind the vanishing listings after hearing so much about the lack of supply that continually frustrates house hunters in the two cities.

“You keep hearing it’s a sellers’ market but the sellers have to go somewhere.”

Ms. Caranci says it’s still common for people to buy an entry-level home with the thought of trading up as babies come along,

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