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December 19, 2017

When it comes to home ownership, generations agree: it’s more difficult for young people now than it used to be

They might not agree on everything, but when it comes to home ownership being a challenge for younger buyers, Ontarians of all ages concur. In a survey conducted by Nanos Research for the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), 9-in-10 Ontarians aged 30 to 39 (91%) and 88% 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. Yet 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,” said 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 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.

“There’s no denying the challenges faced by millennial home buyers today; the Ontario government tried to alleviate the pressure earlier this year when it doubled the first-time home buyer tax rebate,” said Hudak. “So, we know policy makers are aware. Now they just need to enforce policies that effectively bring more housing supply to the marketplace.”

Not surprisingly, a large majority of home owners and aspiring home owners say that single detached homes are the best fit for their needs right now (73%). Semi detached homes were named the second best fit (35%), with townhouses and low rise condominiums coming in third for being the second best fit (15% each).

Ontario Realtors continue to advocate for government policies to increase the supply of housing, lower taxes and fees, and stop the pile on of regulation and demand side policy interventions.


Nanos conducted an RDD dual frame (land- and cell-lines) random telephone survey of 2,000 homeowners and aspiring homeowners in Ontario, 18 years of age or older, between November 3rd and 19th, 2017. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and administered a survey. The sample is geographically stratified to be representative of Ontario.

Aspiring homeowners are defined here as Ontarians who currently rent their home but are likely to buy in the next three years. Individuals were randomly called using random digit dialling with a maximum of five call backs. The margin of error for a random survey of 2,000 Ontarians is ±2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This study was commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association and the research was conducted by Nanos Research.

About the Ontario Real Estate Association
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 39 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services.


*Generation Squeeze, Ontario is the second worst economy in Canada for younger generations, Dr. Paul Kershaw, University of B.C. http://bit.ly/2jxeTuf

Jamie Hofing

For more information contact:

Jamie Hofing

Head of Media & Public Relations


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