Young buyer survey findings “defies logic”
March 2, 2021
A Royal LePage survey released February 25 claims 49 per cent of B.C. residents between the ages of 25 and 35 already own a home—and that 27 per cent bought one during the pandemic.
The survey raised some eyebrows in Vancouver, which was recently named as the least affordable city in North America and the second-least affordable city in the world in which to buy a home.
The 2021 Demographia International Housing Affordability survey ranked Toronto as fifth in terms of global unaffordability and placed Vancouver second, behind Sydney, Australia.
The median price of a detached bungalow in Metro Vancouver is $1.2 million and the typical condo apartment price is $662,130, according to Royal LePage.
Home BUILDER was among those with doubts about the survey’s accuracy, so we requested details of how the national Leger survey was conducted.
According to a Royal LePage spokeswoman, a total of 2,000 residents were polled for the survey across Canada—including 301 in B.C. (of which 245 were from Metro Vancouver).
Metro Vancouver real estate agents and mortgage brokers say the results were accurate in mirroring what they are experiencing in the market.
“It defies logic,” said Peter Kinch of Mortgage Alliance, which is active across the Vancouver region, “but yes, this is consistent with what we’re seeing.”
Mike Stewart of Oakwyn Realty Ltd., who specializes in the condo market, also backed the Royal LePage survey, noting that many sales to younger buyers likely took place outside of Vancouver where prices are lower.
The survey also found that, in Ontario, 44 per cent of residents aged 25 to 35 own their home. Of those, 26 per cent purchased a home since mid-March 2020, when the pandemic lockdowns began. Among those who do not currently own a home, 68 per cent say they intend to buy within the next five years.
“The pandemic provided an unexpected prize for young Canadians—a path to home ownership,” said Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper.
Soper noted that much higher than typical demand has contributed to a near-crisis shortage of listings in parts of the country.
“Measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have motivated many of our younger Canadians to buy, while the health crisis dissuaded many of our older homeowners from selling,” continued Soper. “Some young people living with parents or roommates found their work-from-home environment uncomfortably crowded. Others saw a once-in-a-decade affordability window open on their dream of home ownership.”
Confidence in Canadian real estate is strong and despite economic challenges related to the pandemic, Canadians aged 25 to 35 have a healthy personal financial outlook. Ninety-two per cent of those surveyed agree that owning a home is a good financial investment. Seventy-two per cent are confident in their short-term financial outlook and 78 per cent are confident in their long-term financial future.
“The silver lining is in soaring savings; unspent money that is finding its way into real estate investments,” said Soper.