Why aren't young Quebecers buying homes?

The homeownership rate in Quebec continues to lag the rest of Canada and its young people are struggling to afford homes; but why?

The question has been addressed by the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards which quotes StatsCan data showing the national homeownership rate a year ago was 67.8% while in Quebec it was 61.3%.

"Although the gap has narrowed since 1971, Québec still remains well below the national average," said Paul Cardinal, Manager of the QFREB's Market Analysis Department. "The homeownership rates in the province's six census metropolitan areas (CMAs) are no exception, particularly those of Montréal and Sherbrooke which, in 2016, had the lowest proportion of homeowners among all CMAs in Canada," he added.

For young Quebecers the rate has fallen 2.5 percentage points for under 25s, 2.8 percentage points for 25-34s, and 2 percentage points for 35-44s. For over 45s the rate fell by just 0.4 percentage points.

Part of the reason, the federation says, is that Quebecers are more likely to live on their own than those in other provinces; and saving a downpayment is therefore harder.

QFREB’s analysis also shows that the additional cost of homeownership compared to renting also tends to be higher in Quebec than the national average.

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