The dream of homeownership is strong among millennials
Nicole and Matt have two small children. Matt is a welder and Nicole works in a salon. Two years ago, while Nicole was pregnant with their second child, they decided it was time to start looking for a home.
They searched REALTOR.ca for their perfect starter home.They needed a few bedrooms, some space for the kids to play in the yard and, ideally, a garage for Matts welding side jobs. They called a REALTOR, spoke with a mortgage broker and made a decision.
Home ownership was not affordable for them at that time. They moved into Nicoles parents house. Not how you expected that story to end, is it?
Unfortunately, this is the reality that many millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) face in Canada today. In research released in October of 2018, conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), housing ranked as the top priority for Canadian millennials.
In fact, 86 per cent of Canadian millennials who are not homeowners want to own a home someday and 68 per cent of those are passionate about it.
So whats stopping them? In the survey, millennials stated that saving enough for a down payment, the cost of carrying a home with monthly mortgage payments and mortgage interest rates were the top three factors that impacted their ability to enter the housing market. Saving a down payment was listed by 47 per cent of millennials as the top issue that affects their ability to buy a home.
Researchers also asked millennials what impact recent housing policy changes had on their decisions to enter the housing market. The results were shocking, with more than 60 per cent feeling that interest rate increases and government decisions that make it more difficult for people to get a mortgage have had a negative impact on housing affordability.
There is a clear desire from Canadian millennials to achieve the dream of homeownership. Most millennials want to own a home and will be looking to our elected leaders for progressive policies to make those homes affordable.
Recently, proposals from the Nova Scotia Association of REALTORS (NSAR), in conjunction with the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), have been implemented by the federal government to improve affordability. In March of 2019, the Home Buyers Plan (HBP) was increased to allow first-time buyers to borrow up to $35,000 from their RRSP towards a down payment.
But more can be done to provide meaningful assistance and allow more Canadians to enter the housing market. In the 2019 election, millennial voters will make up the largest portion of the electorate at 37 per cent. With such a large portion of voters identifying as millennials, housing affordability is expected to become a prominent election issue.
That idea sits well with Nicole and Matt, who are still living in her parents basement apartment looking forward to purchasing their first home sometime very soon.
- Contributed by NSAR
NSAR is the professional association for more than 1,500 REALTORS in Nova Scotia.
Almost one-quarter of Canadian seniors are caregivers
While older Canadians may be more likely than their younger counterparts to require help and care in their daily lives, almost one-quarter of Canadian seniors aged 65 years and older are caregivers themselves. And while the roles and responsibilities of these senior caregivers may have changed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges they face could be heightened.
Although the pandemic has affected the lives of all Canadians, seniors have been identified as a population particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Not only are seniors more at risk of severe illness, they are also more affected by isolation measures. As a result, many senior caregivers who help people living outside of their household may not have been able to provide the same level of care that they usually do. Senior caregivers providing help to their spouse may also have seen their burden of care increase, given the possible lack of other support during the pandemic. For example, older caregivers who are usually supported by their adult children to provide help and care for their spouses, may have had to perform additional activities and provide more hours of care than usual. While the data in the current study were collected prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the results highlight the many challenges senior caregivers already faced.
A new study, The experiences and needs of older caregivers in Canada, uses data from the 2018 General Social Survey on Caregiving and Care Receiving to provide a profile of senior caregivers in Canada. Senior caregivers are those who have provided help or care to a spouse, another family member, or a friend with a long-term health condition, a physical or mental disability, or problems related to aging.
Senior caregivers are likely to continue to play an important role in the years to come. As the needs for care and help increase with an aging population, smaller families and geographic mobility among Canadians may reduce the supply of potential younger family caregivers. Within this context, many older Canadians may be relied upon to become care providers, even though they may develop health issues of their own, including age-related physical and cognitive declines, chronic illness and some level of disability.
Week in review
Real GDP continued to recover in August, gaining 1.2% m/m, a result above the +0.9% print expected by consensus. This marks the fourth monthly gain in a row for this indicator, however total output is still down 4.6% from its pre-pandemic (February) level. Production rose in 15 of the 20 industrial sectors covered in August, with two others remaining flat in the month. Goods sector output climbed 0.5% on decent rises for construction (+1.5%) and manufacturing (+1.2%). Industrial production edged up 0.1%. Services-producing industries, meanwhile, experienced a 1.5% surge in production, with the steepest progressions occurring in arts/entertainment (+13.7%), accommodation/food services (+7.3%) and educational services (+3.4%). Year on year, total economic output was down 3.8%.
Canadian GDP registered yet another advance in August but the economic recovery remains highly uneven. Some sectors have now fully recovered from the COVID-19 shock and currently stand above their pre-pandemic peaks. That is the case for agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting (+2.5% compared with February), finance/insurance (+2.1%), real estate (+1.5%), wholesale (+1.3%), retail (+1.2%) and utilities (+0.8%). That said, certain industries continue to suffer. For instance, production in the mining/quarrying/oil and gas extraction segment remains 17.2% below its February level thanks in large part to depressed energy prices. The sectors most affected by social distancing measures are also struggling to recover. Output in the arts/entertainment segment is roughly half what it was before COVID. Production in accommodation/food services, meanwhile, remains 28.2% short of pre-pandemic levels. Transportation and warehousing is also tracking 20.5% below February. While the economic rebound is likely to have extended into September Statistics Canada advance estimate suggests production expanded another 0.7% in the month the steep gap between the best and worst performing industries is likely to endure in a context in which people continue to avoid social contacts. Looking further ahead, the real question remains whether the recovery can be sustained, especially now that COVID-19 cases are surging back up, forcing some provincial governments to reintroduce social distancing measures.