Nine in 10 aspiring homeowners feel locked out of Canada’s hot market

“Rising home prices have outpaced wages,” said Rob Richards, chief executive officer of Key, about some of the country’s largest cities.

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The vast majority of aspiring homeowners in Canada feel increasingly locked out of the housing market, a new poll suggests.

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Called the Home Ownership in Canada Study, the poll was commissioned by Toronto-based, home co-ownership company Key and surveyed 2,000 adult Canadians.

Of those polled, 45 per cent were renting or living with family with more than four in 10 planning to buy a home in the next 10 years.

Yet 90 per cent of those individuals aspiring to own a home indicated they “feel locked out” of the market and worry they may never own a home.

The study revealed these respondents indicated rising prices as the key barrier to entry as the average price of a home in Canada reached nearly $817,000 in February — an increase of 20 per cent from the same month last year.

For additional context, the survey noted the average price is now up by more than 50 per cent from February 2020, when the price was about $542,000.

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“Rising home prices have outpaced wages,” said Rob Richards, chief executive officer of Key, founded in 2018. “And with rising interest rates and inflation, the affordability gap is tougher than ever to close.”

Key is among a crop of new companies to emerge in the last few years offering alternate ownership models to the Canadian market.

Specializing in a rent-to-own model, Key allows would-be home buyers to get into the market for as little as a 2.5 per cent down payment without first qualifying for a mortgage.

Key’s co-ownership strategy allows individuals to set aside a small portion of monthly payments to build equity over time. Eventually, their stake can potentially grow into a down payment that, upon moving out of their unit, can be used to qualify for a mortgage and purchase their first home.

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