Browser game simulates Toronto’s housing purchase struggles

Interested in buying a home in red-hot Toronto? You may want to try this browser-based game first.

Hosted by Canadian Business, the Maclean’s Homebuyer Misery Game is designed to give prospective buyers a rough idea if they can get their dream home amid Toronto’s frenzied bidding wars.

“In Toronto's frothy housing market, most homes that hit the market draw multiple bids, with many selling for well over the asking price. In other words, it's an awful time to be a buyer,” according to the game instructions. “For an idea of what it's like out there, try the Toronto Homebuyer Misery Game, which uses real examples of Toronto homes sold in recent months.”

Latest numbers from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) showed that new low-rise homes in Toronto cost an average of $1,124,600 in March, representing a 32.4 per cent year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, the average price for available new detached homes reached $1,783,417 last month, growing by $716,711 in just 12 months.

BILD stated that a major contributing factor to the overheating is the sheer lack of supply and the difficulties surrounding the renewal of said supply. Only 10,153 homes were available to buyers in builder inventories as of March, dropping by almost 50 per cent year-over-year.

“The ongoing decline in new housing inventory is a direct reflection of how difficult it is for the industry to bring product to the market,” BILD president and CEO Bryan Tuckey said. “The hurdles builders face keep getting higher.”

“There are ongoing major challenges with a lack of serviced and permit ready developable land and out of date zoning bylaws. The complexity and time it takes to get the vast numbers of approvals and permits necessary to build have increased dramatically in recent years.”

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