What’s first, marriage or mortgage? Each generation thinks differently: Report

A survey has revealed that renters across generations — except for one — are prioritizing home ownership over marriage.

According to Point2 Realty Solutions Inc., an online real estate marketplace, even though renters report rising prices as the biggest obstacle to home ownership, almost half of Canadian renters are considering applying for a mortgage, alone.

Point2’s 2024 Renter to Homeowner Survey also revealed that it is mostly older Millennials that are applying for mortgages with their spouse, the company added.

The new survey focusing on Canadian renters’ home ownership plans found that four in 10 renters are willing to apply for a mortgage, without a partner.

More specifically, the survey revealed that 42 per cent of renters, except for older Millennials, are considering applying for a mortgage alone, despite 39 per cent of renters noting high home prices as the primary challenge to owning a home, wrote Point2.

While applying for a mortgage with a spouse was the norm for decades, it is now taking second place to applying for a mortgage, independently, the report reads.

According to the realty website, the survey revealed insights across generations, including:

  • Gen Z: Most of the respondents under 25 said they want to buy within the next 12 months (72 per cent) and many already saved up to $30,000.
  • Younger Millennials: Most Millennials under 35 said they want to buy within the year (57 per cent) and 76 per cent have saved up to $50,000.
  • Older Millennials: The only age group that is still primarily considering buying a home with their spouse (50 per cent), and the only generation that’s slightly more worried about the down payment (35per cent of respondents) than the high home prices (34 per cent).
  • Gen X: Renters aged 45 to 54 also want to buy a home alone (47 per cent), but seem to be more worried about their credit score than other generations.
  • Baby Boomers: Homebuyers over 60 are looking for smaller single-family homes, possibly in an attempt to downsize, but most are unsure about when they will actually commit to this decision.

While the reason varies depending on generation, the number of Canadians living alone is on the rise, said Point2. Canadian renters are leaning towards the idea of becoming home owners independently.

According to Point2, most renters are considering applying for a mortgage alone, despite citing high home prices as the main hurdle on their path to home ownership. Photo by Point2 Realty Solutions Inc.
According to Point2, most renters are considering applying for a solo mortgage, despite citing high home prices as the main hurdle on their path to home ownership. Photo by Point2 Realty Solutions Inc.

“Buying a home doesn’t necessarily mean they need to find a partner and get married, and getting or being married isn’t a prerequisite for home ownership,” the realty website added.

A census by Statistics Canada noted this growing trend in solo home ownership, nearly a decade ago.

“The 2016 Census revealed that for the first time in recorded Canadian history, one-person households were the most common household type, overtaking households comprising couples with children,” the government agency wrote.

“The number of persons living alone in Canada has more than doubled over the last 35 years, from 1.7 million in 1981 to 4.0 million in 2016.”

Based on results of the Point2 survey, Gen X and Baby Boomer generational groups have the highest number of renters who are willing and able to purchase a home alone.

Just over half of respondents aged 55 to 64 and 47 per cent of those aged 45 to 54 are confident that they can apply for a mortgage on a single income, the study says.

Two other generations put home ownership before marriage — Gen Z and younger Millennials.

Point2 reported that older Millennials are the only generation that is still thinking about following the traditional path of home ownership with a partner.

“While many in this generational group are already married, most respondents (50 per cent) said they would apply for a mortgage with their spouse,” Point2 wrote. “Respondents’ willingness to buy a home on their own — despite the growing worries related to increasing home prices and high mortgage rates — signals how important and relevant home ownership remains for Canadians of all generations.”

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today