affording home

Most people need a side hustle or second job to afford a home, poll shows

Due to affordability challenges and inflation impacting how and when Canadians buy a home, half (50%) of Canadians say inflation is eroding their ability to save for a home, and about 57% would need a side hustle or a second job to afford a home. The findings are according to RBC’s 30th annual Home Ownership Poll, conducted among Canadians under 65.

The results show that 60% of respondents believe that owning a house or a condo is a good investment (up from 53% in 2023) but only 29% are looking to buy in the next two years (up from 22% in 2023). Two-thirds of respondents (64%) say they have always dreamed of owning a home.

The challenge of buying a home is especially felt among those planning to purchase a home within the next two years. Among these potential buyers, there has been a 37% decrease in the total amount they have saved to put toward buying a home.

Among those who have saved some money to purchase a home, 36% say they aren’t putting aside money every month for a home purchase (up from 8% in 2023). Even with this setback, 41% of overall potential home buyers say it will take them four years or less to save enough for a down payment.

“Canadians have a lot of headwinds to face as they look to purchase a home today, whether they are a first-time buyer or searching for their next home,” Janet Boyle, senior vice president of Home Equity Finance & Newcomer Strategy at RBC said in a news release. “While affordability anxiety remains, our research found that many home buyers are exploring different approaches to realize their dream of home ownership.”

How Canadians are looking to cover the cost of home ownership

Potential home buyers are looking for more ways to supplement their incomes. The majority (57%) say they would need a side hustle or a second job, while more than a quarter (27%) have had to or will have to live with their parents longer to afford a home. Just under half (45%) say they would need to overhaul their spending and saving habits altogether to buy a home.

Help from one’s family seems to be a major factor—62% say that financial support from family is necessary to buy a home and 19% say they have or will need to buy a home with their family/parents. Unfortunately, money might not be an option for some families—39% of respondents say they want to give family members money for housing or rent yet can’t afford to do so. More than half of respondents (54%) say they would prefer to have their child/family live with them to help them save money rather than provide financial support.

Affordability challenges and inflation are placing pressure on ‘next-time’ home buyers

Two-thirds (66%) of Canadians who currently own a home and are likely to buy again in the next two years are concerned about covering the costs of home ownership, while about half (51%) of these ‘next-time’ home buyers say they are worried about their ability to buy their next home due to inflation.

About 76% of next-time home buyers believe the housing market in their community is overpriced, while 64% say they wouldn’t be able to purchase their first home in today’s market or would need to move out of the city they are currently living in if they wanted to buy a larger home.

The majority of new migrants are hoping to buy in the near future

Among newcomers who arrived in Canada in the past five years, 73% say they have always dreamed of owning a home and 65% say they are likely to purchase one in the next two years (compared to 29% nationally). About 54% also believe there is only a small window of time to take advantage of lower house prices.

The survey was conducted online between January 25 and February 23, 2024; it involved 2,824 Canadians aged 18 to 64. For comparative purposes, a probability sample of 2,824 respondents would have a margin of error of ±1.8%, 19 times out of 20.

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