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Generation rent: How many Canadians think they’ll be able to buy a home?

Around 1 in 10 Canadians believe they will be renting forever.

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Most people grow up dreaming of the day that they’ll own their own home. But is it a realistic goal for the average Canadian? Finder’s survey of 1,213 Canadian adults revealed that around 1 in 10 Canadians, or 3.4 million people, believe they’ll be renting forever.

Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians (19%) who don’t currently own a home believe they will never be able to, even though they may wish they could be homeowners. They essentially see themselves as “forever renters”.

Gen Z are surprisingly optimistic about the prospect of homeownership

If you saw the headline and assumed it’d be gen Z who are feeling down and out about their ability to afford a home, you’d be wrong. Canadians aged 18-24 are surprisingly optimistic about the prospect of homeownership. In fact, the vast majority (around 81%) say they’ll own a home at some point in the future. An additional 10% say they already own their own home, just under 6% say they’ll be renting forever and 4% say they’re not interested in ever owning a home.

When, you ask? It might not be all that far off for these youngins, with 6% of Gen Zers planning on making the move within the next year and an additional 29% saying they’ll purchase within the next 5 years. This data was collected before the coronavirus pandemic hit, so it’s worth noting their plans might have changed between now and then. Another 29% say they’ll make the move within 6-10 years, while 14% say it’s in their 10-20 year plan. Just 2% said it’ll take them more than 20 years.To learn more about home financing, check out our mortgage rate guide.

When we look at the numbers just out of those who don’t already own a home, it turns out the older you are, the more likely you are to think home ownership won’t be in your future. 94% of people from the Silent Generation who don’t own a home say they’ll never make the jump, followed by 61% of boomers, 41% of Gen X and 18% of millennials.

How does gender play into it?

Women are more likely than men to think they’ll be limited to a life of renting, with 13% of women saying they’ll be renting forever compared to just 9% of men. Interestingly though, women (43%) are actually more likely to already own their own home compared to men (36%).

Men are more likely to resign to a life without owning their own abode, with 12% of men saying they’re not interested in the idea of home ownership, compared to just 9% of women.

Regional breakdown

Nova Scotians (15%) are most likely to think they’ll be renting forever, followed by people from Manitoba (14%), Saskatechewan (13%) and Quebec (12%).

Interestingly, nearly a quarter of Nova Scotians (24%) say they’re not interested in owning a home at all, while those in British Columbia and Alberta (6% each) and Ontario (10%) were on the lower end with the majority of their people wanting to own a home.

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