Number of Canadian renters growing more than twice as fast as homeowners: StatsCan

Sep 22 2022, 8:27 pm

The number of renters in Canada is growing at more than twice the pace of homeowners, according to Statistics Canada.

Newly released data from the 2021 census shows that the number of renter households has grown by 21.5% since 2011, while owner households have increased by just 8.4%.

Across Canada, the fastest pace of growth in renter households was seen in five cities in Ontario and British Columbia.

Between 2011 and 2021, the number of renter households increased by 54.1% in Kelowna, 47.7% in Barrie, 41.1% in Oshawa, 40.9% in Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo, and 40.0% in  Nanaimo.

Statistics Canada said that the increase in the number of renter households over the last decade has contributed to a decline in homeownership rates across the country.

After peaking at 69% in 2011, the homeownership rate dropped to 66.5% in 2021.

The decline was seen in all adults under the age of 75, but was most pronounced amongst those aged 25 to 29 years — 44.1% of the age group owned their home in 2011, compared to 36.5% in 2021.

For those aged 30 to 34 years, homeownership rates fell from 59.2% in 2011 to 52.3% in 2021. Older age groups experienced less of a decline — amongst those aged 70 to 74 years, the rate fell from 75.5% to 74.8% over the same time period.

At 41.3%, baby boomers — those aged 56 to 75 years — accounted for the largest share of homeowners in Canada in 2021. Meanwhile, millennials — those aged 25 to 40 years — represented the largest share of renters last year, at 32.6%.

The agency noted that the changes in homeownership rates have coincided with a rise in the number of people who live alone or with roommates, two groups who are less likely to own their home than other household configurations, such as couples.

On a provincial level, British Columbia had the third-largest decline in homeownership rates, falling from 70.0% in 2011 to 66.8% in 2021. Ontario followed, with the rate dropping from 71.4% to 68.4% over the same time period.

Quebec, which has historically had lower homeownership rates than the rest of the country, saw the smallest decline: from 61.2% to 59.9%.

The highest homeownership rates can be found in Atlantic Canada, as can the largest declines. Between 2011 and 2021, the homeownership rate in Nova Scotia fell from 70.9% to 66.8%, and from 73.4% to 68.8% in Prince Edward Island.

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