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Young Canadians opting out of residential real estate market

Much of the news surrounding home ownership amongst younger Canadians suggests that they are not buying due to financial constraints. However, some young professionals in Calgary, Alberta have shared that they are renting despite having the ability to buy a house. They say the low cost of renting in the area and the unsure returns on residential real estate investments have led to this decision.

This Alberta residential real estate trend signals a generational divide. Home ownership rates for those under 35 have been down for the past 10 years, bottoming out at 50.6 percent in the 2016 census. Baby boomer and older generations, meanwhile, have increased home ownership rates with 83.1 percent owning their own residence.

Older Canadians seem to largely agree that it's a good move due to the returns in real estate over the past 30 years. However, some younger people believe that these returns are not guaranteed to continue in the coming decades and that real estate is not as secure an investment as it used to be. Realtors and bankers often offer advice on buying a home for young people, but this information can be biased as these businesses benefit from ownership.

Young Alberta residents have a lot of things to consider when choosing whether to purchase or rent residential real estate. Another option for those with higher income may be to purchase a rental property. Those who choose to enter the real estate market should be aware of the federal, provincial and local laws governing these purchases and work with a lawyer on any necessary documents and processes.

Source: Calgary - CBC News, "Why young people who can afford it are choosing not to buy homes in Calgary", Robson Fletcher, Jan. 24, 2018

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