The dream of homeownership is strong among millennials
Nicole and Matt have two small children. Matt is a welder and Nicole works in a salon. Two years ago, while Nicole was pregnant with their second child, they decided it was time to start looking for a home.
They searched REALTOR.ca for their perfect starter home.They needed a few bedrooms, some space for the kids to play in the yard and, ideally, a garage for Matts welding side jobs. They called a REALTOR, spoke with a mortgage broker and made a decision.
Home ownership was not affordable for them at that time. They moved into Nicoles parents house. Not how you expected that story to end, is it?
Unfortunately, this is the reality that many millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) face in Canada today. In research released in October of 2018, conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), housing ranked as the top priority for Canadian millennials.
In fact, 86 per cent of Canadian millennials who are not homeowners want to own a home someday and 68 per cent of those are passionate about it.
So whats stopping them? In the survey, millennials stated that saving enough for a down payment, the cost of carrying a home with monthly mortgage payments and mortgage interest rates were the top three factors that impacted their ability to enter the housing market. Saving a down payment was listed by 47 per cent of millennials as the top issue that affects their ability to buy a home.
Researchers also asked millennials what impact recent housing policy changes had on their decisions to enter the housing market. The results were shocking, with more than 60 per cent feeling that interest rate increases and government decisions that make it more difficult for people to get a mortgage have had a negative impact on housing affordability.
There is a clear desire from Canadian millennials to achieve the dream of homeownership. Most millennials want to own a home and will be looking to our elected leaders for progressive policies to make those homes affordable.
Recently, proposals from the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS (NSAR), in conjunction with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), have been implemented by the federal government to improve affordability. In March of 2019, the Home Buyers Plan (HBP) was increased to allow first-time buyers to borrow up to $35,000 from their RRSP towards a down payment.
But more can be done to provide meaningful assistance and allow more Canadians to enter the housing market. In the 2019 election, millennial voters will make up the largest portion of the electorate at 37 per cent. With such a large portion of voters identifying as millennials, housing affordability is expected to become a prominent election issue.
That idea sits well with Nicole and Matt, who are still living in her parents basement apartment looking forward to purchasing their first home sometime very soon.
- Contributed by NSAR
NSAR is the professional association for more than 1,500 REALTORS in Nova Scotia.
Home sales plunged as interest rates continued to rise in May
On a seasonally adjusted basis, home sales slumped 8.6% from April to May, bringing the level of sales slightly below its 10-year average for the first time in 24 months. This decline also represents a third consecutive decrease, with sales down a cumulative 23.0% between February and May. The downward trend is now well established in the country as 75% of the markets have seen their number of transactions decrease during the month. We believe this market moderation should continue in the coming months as the tightening of monetary policy should push variable rates higher and make the stress test even more biting for buyers. Indeed, the stress test uses the higher of 5.25% or the contractual interest rate +2%. Until now, only customers opting for a fixed rate had to qualify with a rate of more than 5.25%. With the Bank of Canada policy rate increase expected in July, the qualification for a variable rate will also exceed 5.25%, a development that should cool the market further since over half of new mortgages are at variable rates.
According to CREA, new listings rose 4.5% in May, the first increase in three months. With the reduction in sales and the increase in new properties for sale, the number of months of inventory rose from 2.3 to 2.7 months in May, its highest level since July 2020. Based on the active-listings-to-sales ratio, market conditions loosened in almost every province during the month, but the housing market continued to be tight in the country as a whole. There are now 3 provinces out of 10 in balanced territory; B.C., Saskatchewan, and Alberta (the latter switched this month). The others continued to indicate market conditions favourable to sellers mainly due to lack of supply.
On a year-over-year basis, home sales fell 21.7% compared to the strongest month of May recorded in 2021. For the first five months of 2022, cumulative sales were down 17.8% compared to the same period in 2021.
Housing starts in Canada increased for a second month in a row by 21.SK in May to 287.3K (seasonally adjusted and annualized), the strongest print since November 2021 (at 305.9K). Starts were well above consensus calling for a 255K print in May while building permits remained high on a historical basis and housing supply continues to be tight. As interest rates rise and demand in the resale market declines, we expect housing starts to also moderate in the coming year.
The Teranet-National Bank Composite National House Price Index increased 2.0% in April compared to March and after seasonal adjustment. On a year-over-year basis, home price increased by 18.8% in April. Ten of the 11 markets in the composite index were up during the month, with Edmonton being the exception.
Canada’s Housing Supply Shortages: Estimating what is needed to solve Canada’s housing affordability crisis by 2030
Were in a housing crisis. This report looks at the overall affordability for the entire housing system in Canada. The report has taken steps to estimate how much additional housing supply is required beyond current trends to restore housing affordability by 2030.
CMHC projects that if current rates of new construction continue, the housing stock will increase to close to 19 million housing units by 2030. To restore affordability, CMHC projects Canada will need an additional 3.5 million units.
Two-thirds of the 3.5 million housing unit gap is in Ontario and British Columbia where housing markets are least affordable.
Additional supply would also be needed in Quebec, a province once considered affordable. It has seen a marked decline in affordability over the last few years. Other provinces remain largely affordable for a household with the average level of disposable income. However, challenges remain for low-income households in accessing housing that is affordable across Canada.