Canada's home ownership rate falls in latest 2021 census release

Home ownership falls

Statistics Canada says the country's homeownership rate is on the decline, with young adults in particular less likely to own a home in 2021 than they were in 2011.

According to the latest census release, two-thirds of Canadians owned a home in 2021, down from a peak of 69 per cent a decade earlier.

The decline in homeownership rates between 2011 and 2021 was the largest for younger Canadians, with the rate falling from 44.1 to 36.5 for those between the ages of 25 and 29.

Canadians between the ages of 30 and 34 experienced a similar but slightly smaller decline in homeownership, falling from 59.2 per cent to 52.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, the renter rate increased. Statistics Canada says the number of renter households grew at more than twice the rate of owner households between 2011 and 2021.

The federal agency also says newly built homes are increasingly likely to be occupied by renters, with 40.4 per cent of new homes built between 2016 and 2021 now rented out.

The share of homes that are condominiums continues to rise, with most being built in large cities.

The report says monthly costs rose faster for renters than homeowners in the latest census period.

The median monthly shelter cost for renters went up 17.6 per cent between 2016 and 2021, outpacing inflation, as the consumer price index rose by 9.5 per cent over that same period. For homeowners, the median monthly shelter cost went up by 9.7 per cent.

Housing affordability actually improved in 2021, but one in five renters still spend more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter costs.

Statistics Canada says the improvement in affordability was the most pronounced for low-income renters and can be largely attributed to temporary COVID-19 income supports.

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