The following article was published in the Hamilton Spectator.
Canadian society is built on the idea that homeownership is the route to a prosperous middle-class lifestyle. Today with many young Canadians wondering how they will purchase their first home, it is time to re-examine the typical pathways to homeownership.
For those with intergenerational wealth, homeownership remains quite accessible. A 2021 report by CIBC found that 30% of buyers received gifts of on average $82,000 from family to help with their first home purchase. This was a dramatic increase from 2015 when 20% of first-time buyers received on average $52,000 in support. Unfortunately, those seeking to purchase a home without family assistance face daunting timelines. National Bank of Canada recently found that even with recent price declines, an average family would require close to 25 years to save enough for a downpayment on a home in Toronto. Despite these obstacles, based on survey research I conducted with Conestoga College Professor Domenica De Pasquale and University of Waterloo Assistant Professor Sean Geobey, in partnership with the shared equity organization – Ourboro – we found that interest in homeownership remains high among renters. Using a sample of 2,086 Ontarians contacted in early February 2023, we found that 20% of renters planned to purchase their first home in the next year and half expected to purchase a home within the next five years. Many of these individuals will likely face disappointment as Statistics Canada research suggests that only 5% of renters become homeowners each year.
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