To understand why the Canadian housing market is performing so well we have to look at where the demand is coming from. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, one person households are “expected to show the fastest pace of growth, making it the single biggest type of household by the 2020s.” As the population ages more senior women are becoming widowed. More young women are also delaying marriage and opting to buy smaller homes. As a result, the CMHC says that females today are over-represented in the singles condo market.
In 2011 Canadian women already represented 65% of all condo owners who are single. If we look at the statistics for people who are 55 and older, that number rises to 76%.
Back in 1971 couples with children made up 50% of all households in Canada, while only 13% of homes were occupied by unattached individuals like myself. But today couples with children households have shrunken down to 29%, and singles now represent 28% of all households. Gee willikers! 😯 How the times have changed.
In the hot Canadian condo market, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, the one-bedroom units are what’s selling today. “This is a very important force: more single people living by themselves, mainly women,” CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal says.
Other contributing factors for the shift to living alone are a growing desire for privacy, and more choice due to financial independence. Four decades ago not many women had jobs. But today there are more females than males attending universities, and in many fields of work women make just as much as men do, sometimes even more like with nursing and bar tending. This means women in 2015 have the financial means to take care of themselves, and have more options when it comes to lifestyle arrangements, such as choosing to live alone and buying a condo before getting hitched.
So the next time you hear about how expensive the Canadian housing market is, just remember it’s because of the single people in this country, particularly the women, who are driving up the cost of housing for everyone else. 😛
But joking aside, real estate inflation isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s simply the result of changing economic circumstances. But I think buying a condo in Toronto today is still a good long term investment. Many people will say otherwise. But those same people warmed me not to buy a condo in Vancouver 6 years ago. Good thing I didn’t listen to them. It’s curious to me how index investors can be so emphatically opposed to the idea of timing the stock market, yet many of them think they can somehow successfully time the real estate market. Maybe it’s harder to detach one’s emotions from a real estate investment than from a stock investment. 😕
Random Useless Fact:
A white cop beating a black man in New York City was caught on camera.