They might not agree on everything, but when it comes to home ownership being a challenge for younger buyers, Ontarians of all ages concur. A survey conducted by Nanos Research for the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) found that nine-in-10 Ontarians aged 30 to 39 and 88 per cent of those 60 plus, agree or somewhat agree that owning one’s own home is more difficult for young people now than it used to be. But OREA says the dream of home ownership persists, with more than 9-in-10 Ontarians across all age groups agreeing or somewhat agreeing that home ownership is important to them.
“We may never settle the ‘who has it harder’ argument between baby boomers and millennials, but on this particular issue, there’s no contest: owning a home is tougher these days than it was for the previous generation,” says Tim Hudak, OREA CEO. “It takes much longer for millennials to save up for a down payment, and when they finally do, their housing options are limited. Either because the housing that’s available is out of their price range, there’s not enough of the housing they can afford, or public policy keeps changing and pushing their buying plans further away.”
It now takes 15 years of full-time work for a typical young Ontarian (age 25-34) to save a 20-per-cent down payment on an average-priced home, according to research from the organization Generation Squeeze. In 1976-80, it only took five years of full-time work to save the 20 per cent down payment on an average-priced home in Ontario, OREA says.
“There’s no denying the challenges faced by millennial home buyers today; the Ontario government tried to alleviate the pressure when it doubled the first-time home buyer tax rebate,” says Hudak. “So, we know policy makers are aware. Now they just need to enforce policies that effectively bring more housing supply to the marketplace.”
A large majority of homeowners and aspiring homeowners say that single detached homes are the best fit for their needs right now (73 per cent). Semi-detached homes were named the second best fit (35 per cent), with townhouses and low-rise condominiums coming in third for being the second-best fit (15 per cent each).