Canada’s housing market is facing an affordability crisis affecting everyone from new Canadians, to young professionals with large student loans, to first-time buyers struggling to get on the ladder. But of those young Canadians fortunate enough to enter the housing market, whether on their own or with financial help from parents or relatives, a significant number of them have decided to invest in multiple properties, likely hoping to take advantage of growth potential in the country’s housing market.
“Young buyers are looking to capitalize on the real estate market by investing in a property that will appreciate over time,” said Karen Millar, sales representative, Royal LePage Signature Realty. “I have many younger clients who have purchased condos or smaller homes for as little as $300,000 outside of Toronto, in areas like Guelph and London, where the rental market is very active among students. Parents of students in Ontario’s university towns are also taking advantage of the local rental market, purchasing a property – often times with multiple units – for their children to stay in while studying and also as a source of rental income from other students.”
A recent Royal LePage survey, conducted by Leger, revealed that 18% of homeowners aged 18 to 35 in the Greater Toronto Area, and 14% in Greater Vancouver, own more than one property. Based on data about homeowners in the regions as a whole, secondary properties in these two cities are more likely to be used for rental income, at least some of the time.
“Younger Canadians are sitting in the driver’s seat of their own futures,” said Caroline Baile, real estate broker, Royal LePage Sussex. “They are very business savvy, and have a clear idea of what they want their retirement years to look like. Young people today put a lot of emphasis on work-life balance. They want their money to work for them, and they recognize that investing in real estate has the potential for great returns. While so many young Canadians struggle to enter the real estate market, those fortunate enough to do so, whether on their own or with financial support from their parents, will reap the benefits in the future.”
According to the survey, 16% of homeowners aged 18 to 35 in the Greater Montreal Area own more than one property.
Roseline Guèvremont, real estate broker, Royal LePage Tendance, noted that younger buyers are becoming more and more interested in owning property, whether to improve their quality of life, to generate new sources of revenue, or to have new experiences.