Young Quebecers increasingly forced to remain tenants

The dream of owning rather than renting is fading for young Quebecers. Only 34.3% of 25-29 year olds will be owners in 2021. They were 38.5% in 2011, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

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« Every day, the dream of the house is moving away, » laments Nacer Bouhireb, a father of a typical family of this generation of tenants.

However, this father of two children has an attractive salary, just like his nurse spouse. And they’re not looking for anything high end, just a single family home.

The unbridled growth of real estate prices in the last decade has made the acquisition of a property much more difficult for many Quebecers. And it is the first buyers who are struggling, in other words the youngest.

« When the price of housing increases a lot, the first buyers see the step to take to become increasingly large owners », explains Jean-Philippe Meloche, professor at the University of Montreal.

According to him, households that already own are little affected by the increase in real estate prices. Even if they want to move and buy at a higher price, they already have an asset that has itself increased in value.

The first buyers, they do not have a secure investment and see the 5 to 10% down payment required increase at the rate of increases in real estate prices.

“The number of months needed to accumulate savings for a down payment has gone from 40 to 69 months,” illustrates Matthieu Arseneau, Deputy Chief Economist at National Bank.

More young people when they inherit

In addition, Quebecers live longer and longer and young people inherit later and later from their parents, adds Charles-Olivier Amédée-Maresme, professor at Laval University.

The fact that the younger generation in Quebec is less and less homeowner is not positive news, according to Mr. Amédée-Maresme. It loses in heritage.

A way to save less

« Even if real estate is not always the most profitable investment, it is certainly one of the best ways for a family to save money, » said the professor of finance.

Once the mortgage has been taken out, households repay part of the borrowed capital each month. In this sense, the mortgage « forces » to save. This is not the case with rentals, to which more and more young Quebecers are turning, often out of spite.

In this, the new generation sometimes feels disadvantaged.

Marie-Alix Pouteaux and Felix Hardy

Photo Francis Halin

Marie-Alix Pouteaux and Felix Hardy

« Our parents at our age had already paid for their house in full, » says Marie-Alix Pouteaux. The young woman gave up the dream of a house because she couldn’t raise enough money. To fit within her budget, she and her partner opted for a semi-basement condo in Saint-Hubert.

– In collaboration with Francis Halin


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