Nearly Half of Canadians Are Worried About Shelter Costs: Stat Can

Canadian Real Estate Is Pricey, Here’s How Much You Have To Earn To Buy A Home

A large share of Canadians feel like they’re just a few bucks away from financial destabilization. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) released the results from its  Canadian Social Survey on Quality of Life and Cost of Living for Q3 2022. The cost of living crisis has made life unstable for nearly a third of households, with the risk largely concentrated in young adults. Soaring home prices and rents have been especially tough, with nearly half of Canadians worried about their ability to pay for shelter. 

Canadian Prices Are Rising At The Fastest Rate In A Generation

Canadian consumer prices have surged at one of the fastest rates in history. In 2022, the consumer price index (CPI) reported a 10.9% increase, the largest since 1982. This followed a 6.8% increase in 2021, which is more than 3x the target rate. Stat Can notes that Transportation (+10.6%), food (+8.9%), and shelter (+6.9%) showed the fastest rising prices. This has put a significant share of Canadians under financial pressure, especially young adults. 

Young Canadians Are Being Hit The Hardest

All households have been impacted by the rise in costs, but it’s become destabilizing to young adults. Over a third (35%) of households reported it was difficult to meet their financial needs over the past year. The highest share was found in people aged 35 to 44 years old (46%), followed by those between 45 and 54 years old (41%). People aged 65 and older were the least likely (25%) to report financial difficulty. Though 1 in 4 people reporting financial difficulty is still a relatively high number. 

1 In 4 Canadians Can’t Handle An Unexpected Bill of $500

The cost of living crisis is so bad that 1 in 4 (26%) of households can’t handle an unexpected expense of $500. That skews to younger households, with those between 35 and 44 years old having the highest share (35%) of those that can’t handle an unexpected expense. It was followed by those 45 to 54 years old (30%), and seniors aged 65 and older were least likely (19%) to be unable to handle a relatively minor unexpected expense.  

Nearly Half of Canada Is Worried About Shelter Prices

Canada’s one of the frothiest real estate markets in the world, so it’s no surprise housing was the big issue. Nearly half (44%) of households said they were concerned with their ability to afford a home or rent. It skews much higher for those between 15 and 24 years old (58%), with those between 25 and 34 years old (56%) not far behind. Those 65 years and older were least likely (27%) to be worried about shelter costs, but once again that’s still 1 in 4 seniors. 

The problem with housing affordability isn’t just an abstract one, it’s already impacting young adults. Stat Can found 44% of people between 25 and 34 years old were impacted by shelter costs. These households were either forced to move, had their ability restricted, or needed to downsize to cope with accommodation costs. In contrast, fewer than 15% of households 45 or older gave this answer. 

At this point, nearly half of Canada’s under 45 population have difficulty maintaining their shelter. That likely means even fewer are entertaining buying a home, as affordability crushes young adults.

14 Comments

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  • KG 1 month ago

    Kind of hard to save money to buy a house if $500 makes you insolvent. That’s why they’re quadrupling on immigration, so developers can split 400sqft condo into 4 and you’ll pay rent-like costs for your maintenance fees, but you’ll feel superior to those that rent.

  • Tia Wolfe 1 month ago

    Land values are an input cost for everything. Where do people think the costs come from when farm land triples in value?

    • Terrance Yu 1 month ago

      This is an important point that people should remember, and why restaurants are closing down left-right-and-centre unless it caters to a deep pocketed clientele.

      Canada skipped the part where it becomes incredibly productive and dominates global industry, and went right to just pretending it does with high home prices.

      • Sergey 1 month ago

        That’s capitalism for you. Capitals are going where the risk is lowest and profit margin is the highest and where the least job can be done for bigger buck.
        I am afraid within this capitalistic reality there is no solution for this crisis.

    • Ray 1 month ago

      I used to work for a builder who bought his land from farmers 20 years back. They used to let the farmers cultivate the land until they were ready to build on. They had thousands of acres all across Ontario. BTW they bought the land for cheap.

  • Rick Abrams 1 month ago

    None of this is unusual and everyone knows the cause but almost no one will admit it. Density shoves money upward to the 1% while sprawl spreads out wealth. Restricting construction to urban containment zones dramatically raises the cost of land which shoves up housing prices. People think that densification makes housing cheaper when more apartments are squeezed into high rises, but the facts show otherwise. In addition to the higher land costs, densification requires expensive mass transit but traffic congestion continues to get worse since wealthy people shun mass transit except in a few places like NYC.

    Homelessness rises as the poor become poorer, but the poor are actually no different than others. Virtually, everyone slides down the economic scale except the extremely wealthy. As the qualify of life erodes like the hour hand on the clock, people don’t realize what is happening until it is too late.

  • J 1 month ago

    Been shelter poor since the GFC. We’ve arrived at the edge of the abyss. Can the retiring boomers hold the economy up with their retirement spending? The answer is obvious. These happy go lucky forecasts of a RE rebound the second half of this year are living in fantasy land.

  • CD 1 month ago

    Speculators & RE industry/developers caused this mess …
    We’re just living in it.

    • EnglishInCanada 1 month ago

      No they didn’t. Banks and the government did. RE industry/developers just took advantage to the fullest.

  • Peter 1 month ago

    Your synopsis seems to discount age 55-64. That speaks volumes. By disregarding that age group , you neglect to mention many that were, or are, near retirement. They don`t want to pay CPP. Many of US have helped our kids into their new home and have a debt load that may require working for longer than anticipated given the policies of this gov. . The true state of affairs can only rest on a government policy and giving billions offshore whilst neglecting our veterans, homeless , and a complete and utter disregard for the now non existent middle class that bought cars , tvs can no longer afford to do so. The pain felt by all due to an endless reckless spending spree and a loyalty to a “higher” order . Face the facts: we didn`t get here because of our own faults. A narcissistic leader has not helped matters. This is the demise of the middle class as per his step dad`s order and roots . Shame that our politicians find dual duty more leaning towards their personal agendas as opposed to representing honest hard working Canadians and putting many in a position of insolvency to pay for that money printing machine. Because our gov is in debt; as are we all. Look a bit deeper Mr. Wong.

    • Peter 1 month ago

      Not to mention; Freeland got $2 billion dollars CDN 3 days before She went “overseas” with no actual place for the money or how it would benefit Canadians as a whole. Go to a bank, ask for a million dollars with no place to exist. You guessed it. DECLINED!

  • peter 1 month ago

    Thanks for taking my comments down. See ya brah, you are a fake.

  • Kate 1 month ago

    Welcome to the 3th world of inequality.

  • Cory Crete 1 month ago

    I don’t get how there isn’t a fight for UBI. We can let the Liberal government waste billions on consultants and mishandling CERB but we can’t demand they actually have a cost of living allowance, given they helped create this mess? It’s simple, keep it for lowest income bracket only, if you have to cap it to start at $500/month ideally $1000. People may actually be able to afford oral hygiene visits and do less visits to our health institutions as a result. (Do not hand it out to all Canadians, especially politicians who clearly earned enough to not need it). That $ will flow back into the economy and save jobs. Of course doing anything with actual substance requires a leader who cares about Canadians suffering.

    The only other option is to solve the cost of living crises. Solutions to do this would be the following:

    Temporary ban short term rentals or to steam backlash, ban new short term rentals from existing.

    Have the federal government help provinces and municipalities build up instead of out – and only up with the exception of permitting single dwelling houses in small communities and possibly storage unit/container dwellings.

    Gut into the supply chain or at least cap the increases until minimum wages meet up with the cost of living. This can be done over time gradually as to not shock the system. If we had raised mandated minimum wage in all of Canada for all private sector employees even by .05 / year since 1980 – this would have impacted Canadians less today.

    Open new or fund current accredited Universities and Colleges for programs that specialize careers that are in need of specialists for today/tomorrow jobs to allow free tuition and books for students to allow them to focus on cost of living when they get student loans. Any program taught that doesn’t assist with Canada’s growing needs can still be taught but will get no funding (student pays all out of pocket).

    For trades that require apprenticeship, make it easier for rural areas to apprentice closer to home rather than be required to go to their closest biggest city which could end up being hundreds of km away and lower the cost or fund the cost for the jobs in need.

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