WATCH: A report from VanCity Credit Union ranks Victoria ‘millennials’ among the least likely to afford a home, behind only Toronto and Vancouver. April Lawrence reports.
Victoria’s Breann McLeod has just graduated from nursing school, but as she prepares to launch into a new chapter of her life, buying a home is nowhere on her radar.
“I have a lot of student loans from school, so it’s probably not in the next ten years of my life,” said McLeod.
It’s a struggle shared by many her age.
In fact a new report from Vancity Credit Union shows Victoria millennials, or those ages 25 to 34, have a higher cost of living than most of their Canadian counterparts.
“Wages have been somewhat stagnant over the last few years but more importantly the cost of housing has just skyrocketed, so that discrepancy, that gap has just become wider and wider,” said William Azaroff, Vice-President of Community Investment at Vancity.
Victoria millennial couples who buy an average home this year will only have about $12,000 in annual ‘discretionary income’, or spending money, after they cover their basic costs of living.
They are only ahead of their peers in Toronto and Vancouver — in fact Vancouver millennial couples are actually going into debt each year.
The wealthiest Canadian millennials are in Edmonton, with $47,300 to spare after paying for the cost of living.
With such a high cost of housing, many young people in Victoria are turning to condos as the only option.
“You can buy something that’s around $300,000, which is affordable for Victoria, and it’ll be between 500 and 550 square feet,” said Tony Zarsadias, co-owner of The Condo Group.
But Vancity argues millennials should have the same housing options as previous generations, and the same opportunities.
“It’s easy to say millennials should all rent or millennials should all buy condos, but what we want to see is for millennials to have the same options other generations have had,” said Azaroff.
Azaroff said it’s a problem not just government, but developers, banks, organizations like Vancity, and non-profits need to come together to address.
So that young people like Breann McLeod can have a chance at a successful future.
See full VanCity report ‘No Funds City’ here.