The outrage over a developer’s proposal to buy single-family homes exposes a Canadian obsession with single-family homes.

single-family homes
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We certainly shouldn’t have been surprised by the surge of controversy sparked by a huge property developer’s intention to buy thousands of detached family homes and rent them out amid Canada’s current feverish dog-eat-dog rush to buy a home.

Nonetheless, many in the real estate industry have been taken aback by the reaction, including those at Core Development, which plans to invest $1 billion in buying, renovating, and renting out 4,000 ground-level suburban homes across Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada over the next five years.

“I’m genuinely astonished,” said Faran Latafat, president of single-family developments at Toronto-based Core Development, which has traditionally focused on condo construction.

While any corporation is interested in generating a profit when Latafat announced the company’s plans, she was certain Core was effectively doing a public service, filling a need by constructing more inexpensive rental apartments in regions where people desired to live.

“For every single-family rental house that comes on the market, two rental apartments are offered, effectively doubling the rental supply,” she noted in an email after we spoke on the phone.

Those who watch the real estate market say it’s difficult to pin down all of the reasons for the outpouring of rage this week. However, the fury is palpable in many of the media pieces that followed the announcement, as well as in reader comments at the bottom of those reports.