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71% of Canadians Think the Federal Government Needs to do More to Improve Housing Affordability

Sarah Niedoba

The dream of owning a home in many of Canada’s largest cities has become increasingly out of reach for the average would-be buyer. And according to a new survey, the majority of Canadians think the government should be doing more to help.

Up to 71 percent of Canadians believe that the federal government should be doing more to curb runaway home values, according to a new survey conducted by real estate website Zoocasa.

“Renters felt the strongest regarding this, at 81 percent, while 64 percent of homeowners support government intervention,” reads the report. “Renters also show the strongest support for programs helping first-time buyers get into the market (75 percent, compared to 49 percent of homeowners.”

The results are part of a broader trend found in the survey — homeowners tend to feel more positive about the current state of the housing market than renters. This was especially true of long-term homeowners, defined by Zoocasa as those who had owned their property for 10 years or more.

Up to 43 percent of long-term owners said they currently live in their “dream home,” compared to just 24 percent of new homeowners and 7 percent of renters.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of new homeowners and 66 percent of renters indicated that they would be unable to afford their current home if affordability conditions continue to worsen. Up to 28 percent of renters said that higher interest rates would impact their ability to buy property.

Yet despite these numbers, the majority of respondents were in agreement that owning a home is an important life milestone.

“A full 81 percent of long-term owners, followed by 77 percent of short-term owners, and 63 percent of renters [indicated as such],” reads the report. “The desire to upgrade housing was also very strong among those who rent: 92 percent indicated they intend to eventually buy a home, with 59 percent planning to do so over the next five years.”