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40% of Vancouver's Generation Z adults expect 1st home to be co-owned, real estate survey suggests


More than a third of Generation Z adults living in Vancouver expect they'll co-own their first home with someone else like friends or family, a recent survey suggests.

The Generation Z Report, released by Sotheby's International Real Estate and the Mustel Group Wednesday, looks at how that age group is preparing for home ownership across the country. It suggests 37 per cent of Canadian Generation Z adults, which included those aged 18 to 28, living in urban areas expect they'll be able to purchase their first home in less than five years.

Even in Metro Vancouver's expensive and challenging real estate market, that percentage is only slightly lower, at 36 per cent. Forty-three per cent of those surveyed expect they'll buy a home in five to 10 years.

“The influence of Generation Z is rising with each passing year, and their impact on Canada’s real estate market is set to be substantial,” said Josh O’Neill, general manager of Mustel Group, in a news release.

“Results from this survey reveal the high level of confidence that young Canadians have in housing and demonstrate how they are overcoming financial barriers to attain home ownership.”

Sotheby's report also says 62 per cent of those polled plan to use their personal savings as the main funding for their down payment. Financial gifts, loans outside of a mortgage, selling financial assets and family inheritance were also listed as leading down payment sources.

Even so, a significant portion expect they won't own their homes alone. The report says 27 per cent of those surveyed reported their first home will likely be co-owned with a family member. That figure is slightly higher than Generation Z residents of other urban communities, where 24 per cent expect to co-own with family.

An additional 13 per cent in Vancouver expect they'll own the home with friends or someone else who isn't family.

"Overall, despite well-documented challenges to housing affordability, confidence in the real estate market is high amongst Vancouver’s next generation of home buyers," a statement from Sotheby's said.

"Eighty-six per cent of Generation Z adults maintain that home ownership will play a major role in achieving a financially stable retirement, including 44 per cent who 'strongly' agree with this sentiment."

In January, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the Greater Vancouver region reached more than $1.2 million, up 18.5 per cent from last January and two per cent from December. 

And the situation isn't much better for renters in the region. An annual report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation found the vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments in Metro Vancouver dropped from 2.6 per cent in 2020 down to 1.2 per cent in 2021.

Even those who find a rental can face increasingly unaffordable rents.

According to CMHC, the average rent for a two-bedroom condo in the region was $2,498 – the highest in the country, and well above the national average of $1,771. 

The report is based on findings from an online survey conducted between Oct. 25 and Nov. 10, 2021, of 1,502 Generation Z adults between the ages of 18 and 28 living in the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal Census Metropolitan Areas.

The sample was weighted to match Statistics Canada census data based on age, household income and home ownership within each CMA and to bring the total sample into proper proportion based on relative populations. While margins of error only apply to random probability samples, the margin of error on a random probability sample of 1,502 respondents is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Ben Nesbit Top Stories

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