buying property in canada

People are buying property with friends and family to afford a home in Canada

With housing affordability becoming a distant dream, more people in Canada are buying homes with their friends and family.

From August 10 to 21, Royal LePage conducted an online survey of 501 Canadian adults who co-own a home with someone other than their spouse.

Participants could co-own with a spouse, but only those who co-own with someone other than their spouse qualified for the survey.

According to the study, 76 per cent of Canadian home co-owners say a lack of housing affordability pushed them to consider the option.

"The COVID-19 pandemic forced some Canadians to reconsider their living situation, with many choosing to share living space with friends or family in a time of isolation," said Royal LePage researchers.

"Now, in an era where social distancing restrictions have ceased, a number of Canadians continue to choose cohabitation to address their housing needs."

Rental housing costs are also soaring to record-breaking heights across the nation, and now, 56 per cent of those who co-own a home do so with their parents or parents-in-law.

Only 5 per cent of Canadian co-owners aged 65+ do so with their parents and parents-in-law, and those aged 25-34 are the likeliest to make the decision to co-own (78 per cent).

That’s no surprise, considering Canadian millennials have been hit hard by the housing crisis and are drowning in debt.

In addition, 18 per cent of people surveyed said they own a home with their adult children, 15 per cent with their siblings or siblings-in-law, 7 per cent with a friend, and 8 per cent with someone who isn't a friend or a family member.

Nationally, 13 per cent of co-owners own a place with their significant other.

Royal LePage reports that almost one-third (32 per cent) of co-owners decided to co-buy after the Bank of Canada began raising its interest rates in March 2022. Several hikes have followed since.

Living situations vary significantly across co-owner groups — 44 per cent of co-owners share their home, while 19 per cent don’t.

Among those surveyed, 6 per cent said neither co-owner lives primarily at the home they own together. It is used, instead, as an investment or recreational property.

Royal LePage also recently surveyed 601 real estate professionals in Canada, 25 per cent of whom said they've seen "somewhat of an increase" in the number of homebuyers purchasing a property with another person or persons (other than their spouse or significant other) compared to pre-COVID-19 days, while 8 per cent said they've seen a "noticeable increase."

Karen Yolevski, COO at Royal LePage Real Estate Services, said that while different generations of families living under one roof is not a new concept, it has grown in popularity in recent years.

"Census data shows that multigenerational households are now the fastest growing household type in Canada," Yolevski remarked. "Households group together for many reasons, including communal care for elderly parents, help raising children, cultural preferences, or simply to be together."

She noted, however, that the decision to live together (including co-owning a home) is "a decision increasingly made for financial reasons."

"In an environment where home prices and interest rates have risen quickly and sharply, and where the threshold to qualify for a mortgage has become much more challenging, Canadians are pooling their resources and buying homes together," Yolevski said.

"In cases where homebuyers cannot afford to purchase on their own, they are combining their buying power with their parents, children, siblings or even friends."

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