New polling released today by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) confirms that student debt continues to significantly impact Ontarians’ ability to purchase a home.
Conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of OREA, The Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership report found that Ontario graduates with debt greater than $5,000 agree that their student debt makes it harder to save up for a home. This situation is forcing some Ontarians to look for other options in more affordable provinces, with 42% of graduates considering leaving the province for a lower cost of living and more attainable housing.
The report found that a large number of young adults find themselves postponing homeownership, with student debt cited as the primary reason for this delay. Other life milestones being delayed as a result of student debt include moving out of the family home, getting married, and starting a family.
“Student debt is not merely a financial burden; it’s the biggest barrier to the Canadian dream of homeownership for many young Ontarians and their families,” said OREA CEO Tim Hudak. “Our research shows that the weight of student loans contributes greatly to the housing affordability crisis which, if left unaddressed, will lead to fewer young Ontario homeowners. All levels of government and industry need to work together to bring affordability home to Ontario graduates.”
Due to high housing costs, almost half of the graduates’ parents surveyed plan to stay in their family home for the next decade, rather than downsizing. This will prevent more housing supply from entering the market.
“As a REALTOR®, I've witnessed firsthand the power of homeownership and the transformative impact it has on communities across the province,” said OREA President Tania Artenosi. “Student debt casts a shadow over this dream, leaving aspiring buyers caught between their educational ambitions and the desire for a place to call their own. We need to work to empower the next generation of homeowners, and that starts with pro-homeownership policies aimed at alleviating the pressures of student loan debt.”
Despite carrying debt, post-secondary graduates still have strong aspirations for homeownership, with 75% still expressing a desire to own residential property. As such, at least 80% of graduates support various government interventions that address housing affordability.
Ontario REALTORS® have proposed several recommendations to help address the housing affordability crisis that young Ontario graduates are facing:
By fostering a supportive environment for education financing and advocating for policies that facilitate housing affordability, Ontario can break down the barriers that currently stand between young Ontario graduates and their homeownership dreams.
Additional background information about the report can be found at this link.
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Ontario Real Estate Association
Manager, Media Relations
416-445-9910 ext. 246
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