Skip to main content

As condo prices surge, young Canadians struggle to buy their first homes

Fifty-three per cent of respondents nationally said they are willing to spend up to $350,000 for their home purchase, but they may be hard-pressed to buy into the Greater Toronto Area market, where the average price of condos sold in July hit $501,750.

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

Condo prices in Canada's two most expensive housing markets have climbed rapidly over the past year, making it harder for millennials to complete their first purchase.

The average price of Greater Vancouver condos sold in July reached a record $664,944, up 15.9 per cent from a year earlier. In the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the average price of condos sold last month hit $501,750, up 23.2 per cent from July, 2016, although down 7.3 per cent from the peak of $541,392 in April.

Millennials – people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s – are struggling to save for adequate down payments to enter the housing market in Canada, especially in the Vancouver and Toronto regions. Real estate firm Royal LePage focused on a subset dubbed "peak millennials," who now range in age from 25 to 30.

Story continues below advertisement

Carrick: Here's a way renting beats owning a home by miles

For subscribers: A mom asks: Is this the right investment for a financially stressed millennial?

"Facing challenges their baby-boomer parents never encountered, peak millennials are confronted with significant obstacles that vary depending on where they live," Royal LePage chief executive officer Phil Soper said in statement.

In a survey of 1,000 peak millennials across Canada, 64 per cent of the respondents said they believe properties in their respective regions are unaffordable. The survey's respondents in British Columbia had the most pessimistic view of their ability to purchase, with 83 per cent of those canvassed in B.C. saying their area is unaffordable – the highest rate in the country.

Leger conducted the online survey in June for Royal LePage, citing a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Fifty-three per cent of the respondents nationally said they are willing to spend up to $350,000 for their home purchase. Thirty-five per cent of those surveyed said they already own a home while 50 per cent stated that they rent. Most of remaining 15 per cent said they live with their parents or family members.

"The pent-up demand for housing from millennials is enormous, with only a third of this large demographic currently owning a property and an overwhelming majority desiring to be homeowners," Mr. Soper said.

Story continues below advertisement

In the GTA, $350,000 would be enough to acquire a "starter" condo with 910 square feet of living space, compared with the same budget in Fredericton landing a four-bedroom detached house with 2,568 square feet in the New Brunswick capital, according to Royal LePage.

Nationally, 61 per cent of the peak millennials surveyed said they are willing to move to another city or suburb to find more affordable housing.

Looking to buy a condo? Here are some things you need to know before you do
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading…

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.