Canadian millennials buying houses at younger age than their parents: report

Canadian millennials aged 25 to 34 are better off than their American counterparts — and are entering the housing market at a younger age than their parents did, suggests a new report from TD Economics.

"In Canada, millennials … have found good jobs, higher incomes — particularly females," said Diana Petramala, an economist for TD Economics and co-author of the report.

"That's allowed them to enter home ownership sooner than their U.S. counterparts, and even at a younger age than their parents did over 30 years ago." 

The report said that as of the first half of 2015, over 50 per cent of millennials in Canada owned a home, compared to 36 per cent in the U.S.

Less debt

The study also found that Canadian millennials have less student debt than their U.S. counterparts — and the debt they do hold is mostly due to mortgages.

"The fact that they aren't as leveraged coming out of school as their U.S. counterparts may be one of the other reasons why they've been able to enter the housing market a bit quicker," Petramala told On the Coast host Stephen Quinn.

She said Canadian millennials have likely also received help from their parents, who may have made payments on or bore the brunt of their child's student debt. 

"Parents of millennials in Canada have benefited from a near-doubling in the average home price over the last decade. No doubt, some of this wealth and resulting financial wiggle room has been passed down to children," the report said.

Women driving growth

The report said that the better performance in Canadian employment rates and income among millennials has been in large part due to "a higher female labour force participation."

"A female millennial is more likely to go to school or receive a bachelor's degree or higher than their male counterparts, and we've seen millennial women really close that male-female wage gap," she said.

"There is still a gap, but they've closed it the fastest among most generations."

To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled: New TD Economics report finds Canadian millennials are doing better than their U.S. counterparts