Renting is growing twice as fast as home ownership, census reveals

Census data shows that the number of households renting their homes has grown twice as fast as the number of homeowners.

Statistics Canada revealed on Wednesday that the number of households renting their home grew by more than 21% from 2011 to 2021. In contrast, the number of households owning their home grew just 8% over the same period. with the same period.

Even though the gap is closing, owners still outnumber renters by a substantial margin. More than 10 million households owned their homes last year – twice as many as five million renters.

Overall, Canadians are less likely to own their own home than they were in 2011.

The shift away from home ownership is especially pronounced in the generation most likely to want to buy a home: the young.

In 2011, about 44% of people in the 25-29 year old group owned their home. By 2021, that rate has dropped to 36.5%.

The drop-out rate for those in the next age group was also nearly as pronounced: from 59.2% for those between the ages of 30 and 34, to 52.3%.

Overall, there is a clear demographic gap between owners and renters. Newborns – which the data agency identifies as anyone between the ages of 56 and 75 in 2021 – make up 41.3% of all homeowners in Canada.

Meanwhile, millennials – aged 25 to 40 in 2021 – make up 32.6% of all renters.

While both owning and renting come with a cost, those who own their homes have been fortunate enough to offset those costs by dramatically increasing the value of their homes. That’s not the case for anyone renting.

Worse still for renters, the average cost of putting a roof over their head has increased more than owners have experienced. The average cost of housing for renters has increased 17.6% over the past five years, from an average of $910 a month in 2016, to $1,070 in 2021.

This is more than double the 9.7% increase experienced by owners, whose average monthly expenses went from $1,130 in 2016, to $1,240 last year.

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