2022 Housing and Consumer Year in Review.

Date01 January 2023
AuthorFeng, Judy

DECEMBER 15, 2022 BY JUDY FENG

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A look back at important housing and consumer topics in 2022, including household debt, rent increases and housing affordability.

If this year has taught us anything, housing and consumer law issues are more important than ever. We began the year hearing about soaring house prices throughout Canada. The combination of pandemic-related restrictions, (previously) low interest rates and desire for more space resulted in increased housing demand.

With the cost of living, rent and home ownership all becoming more expensive throughout the year, housing affordability remains an important issue for many. The combination of inflation and rapid interest rate hikes throughout the year affected many of you-regardless of whether you are a tenant, landlord, condo resident, homeowner, potential home buyer or consumer.

Through CPLEAs work throughout the year, we also heard from (and revisited insights from) community stakeholders, resource users and experts about the top housing and consumer law developments.

Here is a roundup of highlights throughout the year:

Increasing household debt and the legal issues that come with it

In CPLEAs Got Debt? webinar (available on our CPLEA TV YouTube page) earlier this year, experts from Money Mentors and The Alberta Debtor Support Project discussed common debt problems and how to get out of consumer debt. Speaking of consumer debt, we also covered the gaining popularity of buy now pay later (BNPL) with Canadian consumers.

Federal legislative and policy developments on housing affordability

The Budget 2022 in the spring unveiled policy directions and steps towards housing affordability. The Federal government announced many initiatives. This included supporting Rent-to-Own projects, developing a Home Buyers' Bill of Rights, providing direct financial support to Canadians in housing need, and temporarily banning non-Canadian residential property purchases.

Rent increases

Anecdotally and in news reports, we heard that landlords raised rent quite significantly this year. For example, there are reports that average rent in Calgary went up 21 to 29% year over year. Starting in April 2022, rent increases became the number one accessed topic across all CPLEAs housing law resources. We continue to receive many inquiries from landlords and tenants about the law around rent increases.

So, what does the legislation say? The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) is legislation...

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