Winnipeggers wanting to one day buy a home are ‘trying to climb a hill that’s just too steep’

Owning a home may be out of reach for many Canadians according to new data from CIBC, and for one Winnipegger, the prospect of owning their own home is starting to feel like an impossible goal.

“It’s kind of like trying to climb a hill that’s just too steep,” said 31-year-old Aaron Laferriere.

He’s been renting for more than a decade. He does want to own a home one day, but feels like that’s not in the cards.

“To own like a normal home that you see in the movies or shows that these people are living in, it like that doesn’t even seem possible.”

According to a new CIBC survey, 76 per cent of Canadians who don’t own a home yet feel the same way.

The survey of more than 2,200 Canadians found overpriced markets and the inability to save for a down payment are the main barriers. Fifty-five per cent said they’ll only be able to afford a home with inheritance or financial help from their family.

“Me and most of my friends in my generation, if you’re not already born into a rich family or have dual income, it seems unfeasible,” Laferriere said. “It seems not even possible to own a home.”

The CIBC survey found 48 per cent of Canadians are thinking about moving outside major cities to get more bang for their buck, while about a quarter of those surveyed say they would consider buying a home with friends.

This comes as Royal LePage’s quarterly update released Friday found the median price of a single-family detached home in Winnipeg increased 5.9 per cent year over year to $431,000.

The federal government has announced a slew of housing initiatives in the lead-up to the federal budget. Those initiatives include raising the amortization period to 30 years for first-time buyers purchasing newly built homes, and increasing the amount first-time homebuyers can withdraw from their RRSPs – upping it to $60,000.

While in Manitoba, Premier Wab Kinew said his $1,500 Homeowners Affordability Tax Credit will save money for Manitobans who buy their first home.

“When you start to run the calculations, you look at the property listing of the house you got your eye on, you run the monthly expenses, $1,500 difference towards the good – that’s going to put the dream of homeownership within reach for more Manitobans,” Kinew said at a news conference on Friday.

He said the province is also looking to boost housing supply.

“We’re not going to be able to change everything overnight as a provincial government, but we’re going to be there to help you buy your first home.”

Laferriere is hopeful these measures will help, because right now he said browsing Winnipeg’s house listings is just depressing.

“It doesn’t seem within the cards,” he said.

The CIBC survey was conducted between Feb. 23 and 29, 2024, surveying several different random samplings of Canadian homeowners and non-homeowners. The results carry a margin of error between +/- 2.5 per cent to 8.6 per cent.

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