When it comes to owning a home, Millennials in China, Mexico, France, Malaysia and the US are faring better than their generational peers in Canada, suggests a new study from one of the biggest names in banking.
HSBC bases this finding on an independent nine-country survey it commissioned of more than 9,000 people born between the years 1981 and 1998, generally consistent with a widely accepted definition of the generation.
In Canada, 34 per cent of Millennials identified themselves as homeowners, putting the country in the bottom half of the pack — and below the nine-country average, which was 40 per cent, according to the bank’s inaugural Generation Buy study.
At 70 per cent, the rate of Millennial homeownership was highest in China. Mexico had a rate of 46 per cent. Malaysia and the US each had rates of 35 per cent.
Australia, which has a housing market that shares a number of similarities to Canada’s — like interest from foreign buyers and limited housing supply in some locales — had the lowest share of Millennial homeowners (28 per cent).
Rising home prices and stagnating wages are a creating “perfect storm” in some countries, one that is the biggest hurdle to Millennial homeownership, said Louisa Cheang, head of retail banking at HSBC.
“For Millennials in those countries, the dream, while not dead, looks set to be deferred,” Cheang stated.
The study results suggest Canada is one of “those countries.”
House prices in Canada increased by an average of 7.4 per cent last year, according to the study. The UK, where growth was pegged at 7.5 per cent for 2016, was the sole country to post larger gains.
Yet as home values in Canada soar, HSBC’s 2017 projection for salary growth calls for Canucks to earn just 0.9 per cent more than they did in 2016, placing Canada among the seven surveyed countries with expected gains below 2 per cent.
Only the United Arab Emirates had a lower salary projection than Canada at 0.5 per cent. However, the house prices there fell 5.4 per cent last year, providing some potential relief for property buyers.
So how, in the midst of a “perfect storm,” are Millennials affording homes? More than a third of the Millennial homeowners HSBC surveyed say their parents leant a helping hand.
In fact, 36 per cent of survey respondents who own a home “turned to the ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’” said the bank. (One Canadian mortgage broker recently told BuzzBuzzNews that he’s seen more Baby Boomers refinancing their mortgages so they can pony up funds for their children’s downpayments.)
HSBC doesn’t understate the role familial contributions play in residential real estate markets. “Financial support from parents can make all the difference when saving for a home.”