Home Ownership is Down in Manitoba (2024).  But why?

Statistics are showing the Canadian Homeownership is down over the past decade.  Today, let's discuss how you can still make homeownership a reality.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada's homeownership rate decreased from 69 percent in 2011 to 66.5 (-2.5%) percent in 2021. Despite this overall decline, several provinces boast higher homeownership rates, influenced by factors such as personal preferences, age, market conditions, and housing options. Zoocasa did a more in-depth analysis on the topic, and has shed light on how homeownership rates have evolved across the country and among different generations of Canadians.

home ownership in winnipeg

Zoocasa's findings reveal that provinces with more affordable housing tend to have higher homeownership rates – and there is almost a direct correlation. In 2021, New Brunswick, with the lowest average home price of $239,900, secured the second-highest homeownership rate in Canada at 73 percent. Similarly, Newfoundland and Labrador, home to the largest group of homeowners, experienced a modest 9.3 percent increase in average home prices since 2011, maintaining a homeownership rate of 75.7 percent in 2021.

Saskatchewan and Alberta were the only other provinces with homeownership rates above 70 percent in 2021, though both experienced slight declines compared to 2011. Despite high demand in Alberta, a shortage of inventory as well as increasing home prices of late has led many residents to opt for home rentals.

Major Canadian markets, particularly in Ontario, witnessed a significant jump in average home prices from 2011 to 2021, with a staggering 135.4 percent increase. This surge, coupled with a lack of proportional income growth, contributed to a 3.1 percent decline in homeownership over the decade. Quebec, despite relatively low home prices, also had a below-average homeownership rate of just under 60 percent, with a marginal decrease of 1.3 percent from 2011 to 2021.

Nova Scotia and British Columbia had the second-lowest homeownership rates, experiencing substantial drops of 4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, since 2011. The sharp increase in home prices in British Columbia, from $506,100 in 2011 to $910,800 in 2021 (an 80 percent rise), further challenges prospective buyers.

I’m saving the best for last, but I’m biased (of course)! Manitoba did see a pretty substantial drop of 2.7%, although we were quite close to the national average. 

In 2011, the average house price here was around $234,290 in Winnipeg and up to $336,635 by 2021. However, we still sat at half of the national housing average in Canada.

The conversations I’m having are revealing a few things and they are backed-up by the statistics:

  • Among demographic groups, millennials face the toughest challenges in homeownership, with the lowest rate among all age groups. The homeownership rate for those under 40 falls below the national average of 66.5 percent.
  • Notably, younger millennials in the 25-29 age group experienced a significant drop from 44.1 percent to 36.5 percent, reflecting the challenges they encounter in entering the housing market.

It doesn't all have to be bad news!

I continue to hear stories while I’m out and about, in which many are worried that homeownership might not be in the cards for them.  And to them, I say: It’s time to get scrappy.  Here are a few ways I’ve had clients do it:

  • Sacrifice your freedom (for a short period of time, that is).  Be willing to live in your parents’ basement.  Be willing to manage an apartment complex in order to live rent free.  Whatever you can do to offset your current expenses so that you can SAVE that downpayment
  • Take advantage of the programs available to you.  I’ve recorded videos on the First Time Home Savings Account as well as the FSB – I’ll link those videos below.  But use whatever tax incentives there are available to you.  When you get your refund, set that money aside and DO NOT TOUCH IT!
  • Be willing to do what it takes.  Side hustles, door dashing, selling off existing stuff.  I’ve even heard of some with garage sale hustles, whereby they resell at a profit on eBay
  • Be open to your surroundings. Be willing to rent out a portion of the property, to offset the costs.
  • Sacrifice some fun… maybe Taylor Swift tickets aren’t in the budget, or that trip to Mexico.  Dinners out too are a major expense among the millennial population.  Think, rice and beans will give you the means!
  • Think lowering your expectations. Maybe a large home with an equally oversized home is going to be the next step, but not this step.  What is important now, is getting into a home so that you can start building that equity.  Then use that as a platform to launch to the next home.
  • Expand upon your areas.  Maybe you dream of being in River Heights.  But your budget doesn’t afford River Heights.  Are there adjacent communities that could work for now?
  • Be ready to build some sweat equity.  If the bones of a home are good, any cosmetic projects you do will add value and increase your equity.  Force that appreciation!
  • Get aggressive with your debt paydown.  Don’t buy the fancy car with high monthly payments.  Buy a car you can afford, in cash, that is still reliable but perhaps older and not so fancy. Any debt obligations you add to your credit bureau, will negatively impact your approval rate.

I truthfully believe where there is a will, there is a way.  I’ve seen many scrappy millennials get there, and they look back fondly at just how scrappy they were.

winnipeg real estate market realtor#AgentJen

Jennifer Queen

Phone: (204) 797-7945

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