Vast majority of GTA Millennials fear buying a home is out of reach, poll says
There is great concern among GTA Millennials that they will be unable to afford a home, according to a new poll from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).
The fear goes deeper, as GTA residents also expressed a lack of confidence about the likelihood their children will be able to remain in the communities where they grew up.
“According to a recent Centre for Urban Research and Land Development study, there are about 730,000 Millennials living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area who may be planning to move on from living in their parents’ homes and from sharing a dwelling with roommates in the next 10 years, potentially creating 500,000 new households,” says Dave Wilkes, BILD President and CEO.
KEY POLL RESULTS
When considering the issues in the municipal elections on Oct. 22, GTA residents say they are concerned with the ability of today’s youth to afford a home in the GTA, including:
- 94 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 to 35
- 84 per cent of respondents between the ages of 35 to 54
- 80 per cent of respondents age 55 plus
- 88 per cent of women and 82 per cent of men
Interestingly, although Millennials are concerned about the ability to own a home, they are also the most optimistic group regarding housing supply, with 41 per cent of them believing that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for the number of new residents that settle here every year. This is substantially higher than those age 35 to 54 (31 per cent) and those over 55 (27 per cent).
GTA residents are pessimistic in terms of their ability to achieve home ownership, as well as their children’s future abilities to afford homes in their communities. There is also a consensus among residents that the GTA has an inadequate supply of affordable housing being built, or that the city will be able to accommodate the 115,000 new residents that enter every year.
When picking a new home, 60 per cent of GTA residents say they value a neighbourhood that is walkable and bikeable, in addition to being within proximity to shopping, entertainment and government services. This is closely followed by those who prefer access to convenient transit (56 per cent) and proximity to work and school (54 per cent).
Nearly seven out of 10 respondents feel that their children will be unable to afford a home in the community where they grew up. These respondents agrees it is important for young families to be able to afford to live and work within the GTA without having to deal with long commutes.
When asked, “To what extent do you strongly or somewhat agree or disagree with the following”:
- 92 per cent agree that the dream of home ownership is becoming more difficult to achieve for young people living in my city
- 86 per cent agree that it is important that young families can afford to live and work within the GTA without having to commute over an hour to get to work
- 39 per cent agree that there are enough homes being built in my city to help keep housing affordable
- 33 per cent agree that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for roughly 115,000 new residents that settle here each year
- 33 per cent agree that my children (or my friends’ children) will be able to afford a home in my community when they grow up
MILLENNIALS MOVING OUT
“The best public policy is proactive, not reactive,” says Garry Bhaura, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. “We hope these poll results demonstrate that the time for municipal decision-makers to start thinking about housing choice and supply for all GTA residents who want to own a home is now.”
“In the next decade, we are likely to be part of a significant housing shift in our region, as a large wave of Millennials start looking for a place to live of their own,” adds Wilkes. “Add the estimated 115,000 new residents that come to the GTA every year, and the area will see itself in a housing crisis. I urge voters and candidates to learn more about BILD’s recommendations at buildforgrowth.ca.”
“With a municipal election just a few short weeks away, the public has an opportunity to ask candidates to commit to policies that will make it easier to fill their housing needs,” says John DiMichele, chief executive officer of TREB. “GTA homebuyers do not have adequate choice in housing available for sale or rent, and municipal government policy is one of the key reasons.
DiMichele suggests GTA residents visit UnlockMyHousingOptions.ca to send messages to candidates.