Today's discussion:

You shouldn’t have to have rich parents to own a home

We have created an incredibly unfair situation in Canada where people with poor parents have to compete with people with wealthy parents. It’s completely unjust that some would-be homebuyers are out of luck simply because their parents didn’t or couldn’t afford to invest in real estate

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Casting aspersions on the parents of some in these times of high housing prices is much like the federal government chiding grocery executives over the cost of food on their shelves. Both are merely responding to the state that government and their policies have put us in.

We must not allow politicians and their bureaucrats pointing the finger at others off the hook for what is their responsibility. The glare of spotlight must remain on them.

9th February 2024 at 9:38 am
Earl Chinchilla

Record profits paint a different picture.

11th February 2024 at 6:34 pm

I become really nervous when I hear social commentators and politicians talk about who should pay and what is or isn’t fair.

9th February 2024 at 11:18 am
Paul Attics

Odd to be nervous, considering your comment provides a reasonable definition of ‘politics’.

9th February 2024 at 12:03 pm
Chris MacMartin

While this is true, especially in markets like Vancouver and Toronto, the real housing crisis in these markets is the limited supply of quality affordable rentals.

9th February 2024 at 11:06 am
Michael F

And that issue stems from NIMBYism at the municipal level and local governments having very restrictive zoning laws where rental can be built and what type of units can be built.

9th February 2024 at 11:29 am
Kim Morton

The flip side of this is that boomers, who own the majority of houses are dying off at a fast rate. The generations behind us are inheriting multi million dollar homes that are free and clear.

9th February 2024 at 9:05 am
Paul Attics

“A society that requires a large wealth transfer in order to buy a home is a broken society.”

What else is there to say? Perhaps the article quote is too vague…

“A society that now requires a large wealth transfer in order to buy a home is well into an accelerating standard-of-living decline.”

9th February 2024 at 8:16 am
Greg Jackson

The condition described in the article has been the case in Europe for generations. The “disadvantaged” children of people who arrived in Canada and could not afford to buy a home, are the victims of our current government’s runaway immigration policies. There are far more immigrants coming to Canada that we can house, whether that is rental or ownership. When supply is outstripped by demand, prices rise. When a government chooses to print money, without a corresponding rise in productivity, the value of the currency declines, making everything, including real estate, more and more expensive.
Furthermore, there is this unrealistic notion that everyone should be able to afford to live in the highest priced markets in the country. How much affordable housing is available in New York or London? Sadly, Millennials will have to scale down their expectations if they want to own a home and choose a location that makes financial sense. I grew up in Toronto, but could not afford to buy the kind of home I wanted in that location. I bought in the suburbs and I chose a job that didn’t require me to work downtown. For decades, my home price stagnated, compared to Toronto, but I lived in a nice home and raised my family there. I now live in a small town and my home is free and clear.
You don’t have to buy a plane ticket to find an affordable home. You need to adjust your expectations.

9th February 2024 at 3:50 pm
Paul Attics

Great reply, appreciated!

9th February 2024 at 9:14 pm
Michael F

This is an international problem and Canada isn’t the only country suffering from high housing prices. It’s true that Canada has two cities in the top 10 least affordable cities in the world. Expensive real estate is hardly a new phenomenon though and it is not strictly a Canadian issue. And it’s a complex issue that spans all levels of government but most of the issue is at the municipal level.

9th February 2024 at 11:27 am
A. Chezzi

You should not need to have rich parents to afford your own home! One of the fractures in our society is that the fruits of capitalism are not being distributed equitably. The gap between the well off and the poorer and poor is growing quickly and there is no political will to stop it. While grocery chains claim they are not making more and companies like Bell lay off employees and announce huge profits, the anger and frustration among people is rising. Unless political parties stop their war games and pay attention to the needs of people, there will be hell to pay, sooner than later. I watch with dread what is happening in the U S and when, not if, civil war erupts, Canada will be greatly affected. This war will not be like the civil war of the 19th century. There will be no armies on battlefields. The battlefields will be neighbourhoods, roaming gangs, a breakdown of society much like Haiti. The idea is incredible! It is time for the hyper partisan politics to stop and for politicians to come together for the well being of people. If not, it will not matter how rich or how poor you are, no one will escape the ravages of the next civil war.

9th February 2024 at 9:12 am
Earl Chinchilla

Its about time.

11th February 2024 at 6:33 pm
Ian MacRae

First, history. The Baby Boomers |(last now in their late 50s) and their kids benefitted from massive expansion of post-secondary education, with the promise of higher earnings (it was a promise by the schools and “experts”). Municipal planning followed what the voters wanted: single-family homes in the suburbs (everyone drove). After these 2 groups found Jane Jacobs, they learned to hate sprawl and discovered the municipal power of NIMBYism.

Secondly, immigration. We are a country of “from away”. The original attraction (arranged by the governments of the time) was land. At the start of the 20th century, Canada gave 160 acres to new settlers in order to fill our rather empty-looking spaces between Toronto and Vancouver. Space for housing was a continuing attraction to newcomers through the 90s.

Third, we are a country beyond Toronto and Vancouver when it comes to housing. There are towns and cities where new subdivisions are being built. The catch is whether there are sufficient jobs of the sort that Gen X & Z want is a question. The other question is social life. Smaller places don’t have the variety of restaurants, bars & theaters that the major spots have. So what’s more important, housing or entertainment?

The article seemed like a whine that young Canadians don’t have it as easy to buy a home and start a family as their parents or grandparents. Life can be tough. The authors offered no solutions. Your challenge is to determine your priorities and go after them, understanding that compromises will be required.

10th February 2024 at 12:10 pm
Harry Boessenkool

First the rental issue. Unless the land price is taken out of the rental equation the rent will rise with home prices. Find crown land somewhere in proximity of larger centres and develop rental only housing. Any government land should never be sold to developers. (Remember Toronto green belt fiasco). Developers can build but not own the land. All the Vancouver folks have done via their zoning is add 40% to the price of land for every single family home that is now on it. And in that area land is twice the value of the physical house on it!

Parents in mortgage free or virtually mortgage free homes should assist children with money to purchase a first home. If nothing else they should provide the $8,000 as a donation to the FHSA for as long as possible. Encourage the children to relocate to lower price housing areas by having them look at work opportunities in those locations. Mobility should no longer be an issue.

The list of government program to facilitate home ownership in the last few decades have alway resulted in land prices increasing. Giving massive subsidies to corporations to build a plant or factory increases the price of housing in that location. The are many other examples.

9th February 2024 at 12:59 pm