Nearly one-third of non-homeowners have given up on ever owning property: survey
A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Published Tuesday, July 13, 2021 11:49AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 13, 2021 12:51PM EDT
Nearly one-third of would be home buyers have given up on ever owning property amid a steady rise in housing prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association has found.
The online survey conducted by Abacus Data found that while 65 per cent of non-homeowners aspire to own a residential property, many of them are growing increasingly pessimistic about the possibility of doing so in the community they want to live in.
In fact, more than half of respondents said that they have either given up completely on owning a home (30 per cent) or are pretty pessimistic (26 per cent). A quarter of respondents said that they remain optimistic but are starting to become worried about their prospects.
The survey also found that many prospective homebuyers are seriously considering moving elsewhere due to housing costs in their communities. About 38 per cent of respondents said that they have thought about moving to a smaller community outside the GTA over the last year while 27 per cent said they considered leaving Ontario completely.
Younger Ontarians between the ages of 18 and 29 (45 per cent) and 30 to 44 (39 per cent) were the most likely to indicate that they thought about leaving the GTA due to the high cost of housing.
“The affordability crisis continues to crush the dream of home ownership for many Ontarians and this has been intensified by the economic impact of the pandemic,” OREA CEO Tim Hudak said in a press release accompanying the poll. “Governments need to act if we want to create future generations of homeowners and that starts with pro-growth policies that could bring affordability closer to first-time home buyers and address the supply shortage.”
GTA home prices have risen steadily throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, in part due to lower interest rates.
The latest data for June indicated that the average price of a residential property was $1,089,536, up nearly 17 per cent from one year prior.
While the survey found that about 54 per cent of respondents expect housing affordability to continue to decline over the next five years, nearly 70 per cent said that they believe there are things the Ontario government can do to address the problem.
About 82 per cent of respondents said that they would support a new program that would allow renters to purchase equity in the property they are living in as “a way to get their foot in the door” while 89 per cent said that they would like to see increased tax rebates for first-time home buyers.
There was also widespread support for reducing the land transfer tax (86 per cent), redeveloping surplus commercial properties into housing (87 per cent) and taxing foreign home buyers (85 per cent).
“The lack of housing supply is leading many to look outside the province for their first homes and that will make it difficult to retain and attract talent in Ontario in the near future,” Hudak said in the release. “The Government of Ontario’s More Homes, More Choice Act is an excellent first step but if we want to reverse this brain drain, municipalities also need to deliver by opening up more housing opportunities.”
The survey of 2,000 Ontario adults was conducted between June 1 and June 7. It is considered accurate to within 2.17 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.