A large majority of Canadians in the so-called Y generation are worried that affordability will hamper their desire to own a home in their lifetime, according to an online survey conducted for real estate firm Royal LePage.
More than 72 per cent of poll respondents born between 1980 and 1994 — currently aged between 19 and 33 — said they were pessimistic about their ability to own a home because of housing prices.
The survey, conducted last September and released Wednesday, also found 66 per cent of respondents in the Baby Boom generation, born between 1947 and 1996, were also worried about housing affordability.
"Baby Boomers have built homes for themselves," said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate. "It's their children that are seeking to create a similar atmosphere of their own, even though new impediments exist for this younger generation."
Real estate industry observers, including Royal LePage, have said that stricter mortgage rules brought in last summer by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty have made it tougher for first-time buyers to borrow money for a home.
The survey, which was released a day before Flaherty releases his next budget on Thursday, found 46 per cent of the younger age group said the new rules would affect their ability to purchase a home.
Only 21 per cent of Baby Boomers felt the same way.
The younger Canadians were most likely to be renting their primary residence but didn't see it as a desirable long-term solution.
While 55 per cent of Generation Y said they intend to buy their next primary residence, 33 per cent said they plan to rent.
The survey was completed Sept. 13-21 by 1,013 generation Y and 1,011 boomers has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.08 per cent, 19 times out of 20. Regional or provincial breakdowns are less accurate because of the smaller sample size.
Also on Wednesday, the Teranet-National Bank house price index recorded its sixth consecutive month-to-month decline in February, providing more evidence of the cooling trend that has beset home sales since last summer.
The index fell 0.2 per cent from January and increased only 2.7 per cent on a year-to-year basis from February 2012.
Teranet compiles the index based on a selection of homes sold in major markets across Canada.