Policy-makers should tackle housing supply with more density, transit: CIBC CEO


TORONTO — The head of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says policy-makers should dramatically increase the country’s housing supply, as sales and prices soar to record levels in cities including Toronto and Vancouver.

CIBC chief executive Victor Dodig says that heated housing conditions could be alleviated if there was more urban and suburban density along with transit infrastructure and policies freeing up non-environmentally protected lands in newer towns.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 began with bidding wars and housing bubble talk as average prices surpassed $1 million in Toronto and Vancouver.

The pandemic has forced COVID-19 hot spots like Ontario to reimplement lockdowns in recent days and pushed hospitals to their brink, but Dodig says he has every reason for cautious optimism.

CIBC’s current forecasts predict GDP growth, the return of household spending and recovery for businesses hit hard by the crisis.

However, Dodig warns that the country must be mindful of challenges that could arise during the recovery because “it’s not enough to just bounce back.”

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Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press