Despite market prominence, ownership remains elusive for millennials

by Ephraim Vecina on 25 Oct 2018

Millennials have established themselves as a significant market presence over the past few years, but unforgivingly tight rules and frequent interest rate hikes have made ownership an increasingly impossible prospect for the demographic.

“The government’s recent policies stifled the hopes of aspiring homeowners,” Mortgage Professionals Canada board member Mark Kerzner said earlier this month. “Our members have seen, firsthand, a significant portion of aspiring Canadians who have been pushed out of the market.”

This is despite those in the 25-34 age bracket now accounting for nearly half (49%) of the country’s first-time buyers, according to the CMHC’s annual Mortgage Consumer Survey.

Meanwhile, 40% of first-time buyers are married, while 22% are newcomers to Canada. Eight out of 10 are in full-time employment, and 26% have household incomes ranging from $60,000 to $90,000.

Read more: This demographic suffers the most under tighter stress tests

The results of an Angus Reid Institute survey released in August supported the MPC’s observations. Angus Reid noted that a large fraction of Canadian millennials prefer to rent or live in another arrangement, with a significant number describing their experienced and attempts at ownership “uncomfortable” and “miserable”.

Millennials are thus forced to stay in rental housing for increasingly longer periods, and this has pulled down vacancy rates to historic lows while heating up rental price growth.

“I would suggest that the Liberals are acutely aware that millennials are a large voting demographic … and individuals whose interest they are looking to protect long-term,” MPC president Paul Taylor warned.

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