Costs turn­ing sin­gle-fam­ily home dreams into bad night­mares

Calgary Sun - Homes - - Homes - Myke Thomas CALGARYSUN

The sin­gle-fam­ily home has al­ways been the dream home for Cana­di­ans, but a new sur­vey shows costs are erod­ing the dream for many home­own­ers.

The Mod­ern Fam­ily Home Ow n e r s h i p Trends Re­port: The Evo­lu­tion of the Cana­dian Dream* from Mus­tel Group and Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty shows 83 per­cent of young ur­ban Cana­dian fam­i­lies have a pref­er­ence for a sin­gle-fam­ily home, but 43 per­cent of cur­rent home­own­ers in the group have aban­doned any hope of own­ing a sin­gle-fam­ily home.

The sur­vey in­cluded the younger co­hort of the baby boomer gen­er­a­tion, but fo­cused on the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion, says Josh O’Neill, gen­eral man­ager of Mus­tel Group.

“This is the first Cana­dian study to fo­cus on the home-buy­ing pref­er­ences and habits of this seg­ment of young fam­i­lies,” says O’Neill.

The sur­vey found that ris­ing hous­ing costs, brought on by in­creas­ingly strin­gent mort­gage stress test reg­u­la­tions, ris­ing in­ter­est rates and a lack of hous­ing sup­ply in Toronto and Van­cou­ver, have pushed buy­ers into higher-den­sity hous­ing.

How­ever, the de­sire for sin­gle­fam­ily homes will re­main strong.

“With 9.1 mil­lion Cana­dian mil­len­ni­als now en­ter­ing the part­ner­ship, mar­riage and par­ent­ing stages of the fam­ily life cy­cle, the ranks of th­ese mod­ern fam­i­lies are swelling,” says Brad Hen­der­son, pres­i­dent and CEO, Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty Canada. “Our re­search dis­pels sev­eral ur­ban myths about the hous­ing pref­er­ences of this group. It sug­gests that the wave of de­mand for sin­gle­fam­ily home­own­er­ship will con­tinue to rise in spite of mount­ing af­ford­abil­ity chal­lenges.

“More­over, it high­lights the fact that ci­ties will con­tinue to face sig­nif­i­cant pres­sure to over­come th­ese chal­lenges with so­lu­tions that go be­yond the ad­di­tion of higher den­sity hous­ing.”

* The sur­vey was con­ducted with a to­tal of 1,743 fam­i­lies in Van­cou­ver, Cal­gary, Toronto and Mon­treal.

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