Three-fourths of young people ‘stressed’ when thinking about buying a Toronto home

By: John Shmuel on August 30, 2018

A new survey from RE/MAX has found that the youngest generation of Canadians is stressed out about buying homes amid record prices.

Generation Z — those between the ages of 18-24 — is set to become Canada’s largest cohort within the next year. Currently, millennials have that distinction. The shift means that Gen Z will have a serious impact on Canada’s housing market in the coming decade. And RE/MAX found that roughly three-fourths in the country’s two largest housing markets are stressed about buying homes.

Now, we can all commiserate with Gen Z. Home prices have relentlessly marched upward as they came of age, and no amount of Snapchatting or playing Pokemon Go is going to shield them from that reality. The average price for a detached home in Toronto is $1.03 million, while in Vancouver, it’s a depressing (for non-owners, anyway) $1.61 million.

"While the prospects of home ownership may seem daunting, that doesn't mean that Generation Z should give up hope," offered Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX INTEGRA for the Ontario-Atlantic Region.

RE/MAX, being a real estate organization, is definitely trying to reach out to young people — it notes that social media is going to be important in connecting with Gen Z and getting them educated about what they’ll need to buy a home.

One stat in the survey might stress out real estate agents: 38% of Gen Z respondents in both Ontario and B.C. say they have no interest in owning a home.

That’s a large divergence from what we’ve seen from past generations — home ownership in Canada is currently hovering just below 70%.

Now, that doesn’t mean that young people will change their mind as they grow older. A lot of us look back at the choices we made when we were in our late teens with deep embarrassment (why did I ever think popped collars were cool?).

But Gen Z could also be the vanguard for future generations that value homeownership less as record high prices make purchasing a debt sentence.

Breaking down the survey further, RE/MAX found that Gen Z is more stressed in the greater Toronto area — 75% of those surveyed said they felt that way when they thought about buying a home. In the Greater Vancouver Area, the number clocks in at 71%.

RE/MAX also noted that young people in the GTA are more likely to be fine with spending a few more years living with mom and dad. The survey found 42% who respondents who don’t currently own a home in the GTA want to buy one in the next few years, compared to 51% in Vancouver.