gen z toronto

More than 73% of Toronto Gen Zs have the audacity to think they'll own a home someday

The kids are alright, at least in their own minds, when it comes to dealing with Canada's affordable housing crisis in the future.

With luck (and thoughtful policy changes), people under the age of 28 won't have to worry about things like impossibly fast rising residential real estate prices, bidding wars or the ever-looking prospect of a giant bubble bursting. Those of us then who don't already own homes, that is — and you'd be surprised by how many do.

A new, first-of-its kind report from Sotheby's International Realty Canada and Mustel Group reveals the unique housing aspirations, sentiments, and preferences of "urban Generation Z adults" across Canada.

Upon surveying 1,502 Canadians between the ages of 18 and 28 in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, researchers concluded that 75 per cent of them "are likely to buy and own a primary residence in their lifetime."

Some 11 per cent of those surveyed already do own primary residences of their own, with Vancouver somehow posting the highest rate of home ownership among those under 28 (about 15 per cent of local respondents.)

The report states that 49 per cent of surveyed youth said they were "very likely" (as opposed to merely "likely") to buy a home in the future, though they do have some reservations.

Sotheby's reports that 82 per cent who have not yet purchased their first home "are worried that they will not be able to do so in their community of choice because of rising housing prices."

Ah, okay — so a lot of young adults in Toronto do think they'll buy a home someday, just probably not here. That tracks.

There also appear to be more young adults who think they might own a condo at one point, just not a detached house.

The now widely-reported (though not entirely novel) revelation that some half of all potential young home buyers have effectively "given up" on the dream of homeownership applies only to those with dreams of living in a single family home.

"Although 50 per cent have already given up on their dream of owning a single family home, with 34 per cent stating that they have given up due to the high cost," reads the report.

"As a result, approximately half of those surveyed state that their most likely and realistic first home purchase will be a higher-density housing type: 25 per cent report that their first home purchase will likely be a condominium, 18 per cent say that their first home will be an attached home/townhouse and 7 per cent state that their first home purchase will be a duplex/triplex."

There are also significant differences between youths surveyed in Calgary and Montreal and those in Canada's two most-expensive cities, Toronto and Montreal: People in the former two cities stated they were either very or somewhat likely to buy a home in their lifetime at rates of 78 and 79 per cent respectively, compared to 73 per cent in Toronto and 71 per cent in Vancouver.

It's also important to point out that this report's definition of Generation Z is not standard: Like the millennial generation before them, Gen Zs have a murky and contested age cutoff.

The Pew Research Centre holds members of Generation Z to be born after 1997, making the oldest of them 24 as of right now. So do most marketers.

Whatever the case, it's nice to see that younger adults are just as worried about affording a home in Toronto within their lifetimes than slightly older young adults.

Lead photo by

Sotheby's International Realty


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