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Fact: Boomers and GenXers Had it Much Easier than Millennials With Toronto Home Ownership

Will the generational wars never end? Not if we can help it.

Zoocasa tried to determine, once and for all, who had had the toughest time breaking into the Toronto real estate market: Baby Boomers, GenXers or Millennials.

It’s a debate that has generated passionate arguments on each side.

The Boomers had a rapidly expanding economy, but also sky-high interest rates.

GenXers were victims of a recession and downsizing mania — who can forget Winona Ryder’s pitch-perfect performance as Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites, who, as a college valedictorian, still had to stoop to funding her lifestyle with a gas charge card her parents gave her — but they could also buy a downtown Victorian row house for a song.

Nowadays, all we hear about is the hardships of millennials, who, while may enjoy historic low interest rates, also suffer from stagnant wages, precarious employment, and stratospheric property prices. At last count, in March 2018, property prices in the City of Toronto reached an average selling price of $817,642, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

A hopeless feeling pervades that Millennials will never be able to afford a home in the city in which they work. Instead, urbanites feel forced to look elsewhere, to neighbouring cities that were considered far-off a decade ago, such as Hamilton real estate.

But has the media hyped it up? Is home ownership that much more out of reach today than it was in 1980, 1990 or 2000? Do other factors, increased income and lower interest rates make up for it?

Zoocasa crunched the numbers to find out, assessing average Toronto home prices, interest rates, inflation, as well as median total household incomes (adjusted for inflation) over time.

The result?

It’s a fact. Millennials do have it worse.

By every measure: Average monthly mortgage payment and debt-to-income ratio, those in their mid-20s to mid-30s today not only have a higher barrier to home ownership but when they do manage to find a toehold on the ladder, they’re hanging on by their fingernails.

Debt is truly out of control: Debt-to-income ratios are nearly double for Millennials than for Boomers, and about 40 per cent higher than they were for GenXers.

Yes, Boomers had to pay double the interest to the bank, with 5-year fixed mortgage rates at 12.28 per cent in the 80s compared with 5.97 per cent since 2010, but it simply does not make up for nominal wage growth and skyrocketing property prices. Not even close.

The median total household income is a paltry $8,884 higher than it was in the 1980s, whereas housing prices are an astonishing $414,183 higher.

Consider that Boomers paid an average monthly mortgage payment $1,698, while their children had to pay  $3,615 — a 113 per cent increase.

Check out the infographic below for more stats that, once and for, all prove that Millennials have it worst of all when it comes to buying a home in Toronto: is a leading real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse real estate listings such on the website or the free iOS app.

Photo by Sandro Schuh on Unsplash