Recent immigrants to Canada unhappy with housing after soaring house prices
Canada has long been seen as a welcoming hub for immigrants, but not when it comes to housing or wages. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) released its housing experiences survey this morning. The study examines what Canadians across various demographics thought about housing in 2018. Most are happy, but it seems older households bought some time ago. Minorities and recent immigrants seem much less satisfied. Data for the latter show that 2 in 5 recent immigrants are clearly dissatisfied with housing.
Two in five recent immigrants to Canada are dissatisfied with their housing
The majority of Canadians were satisfied with their housing. The agency found that 8 in 10 Canadians (82%) were satisfied with their home in 2018. It appears that this data tends to skew older, more established households. This would have been before frothy valuations deviated from historic affordability.
Recent immigrants and visible minorities were much less satisfied with their housing. Only 3 in 5 recent immigrants (63%) said they were satisfied in 2018. That leaves 2 in 5 people arriving in Canada finding their situation less than ideal – and that was in 2018. House prices rose 42% since then probably worsened the situation.
Housing Satisfaction of Canadians by Demographics
The percentage of Canadians satisfied with their housing by demographic group compared to the national average.
Source: Statistics Canada; Better accommodation.
Visible minorities in Canada are much more dissatisfied, likely due to the wage gap
Visible minorities also tend to be less satisfied with their housing arrangement. They found less satisfaction with black (69%), Chinese (74%) and South Asian (75%) households. The national statistics agency does not explain why, but the pay gap is probably contributing.
Visible minorities born in Canada earn considerably less than their Caucasian peers. The Conference Board of Canada found wages to be up to 30% lower for these Canadians. Earning much less would be a significant barrier to owning or renting. Even when housing was âcheapâ 10 years ago, it was still a barrier for some.
The Racial Wage Gap in Canada
The percentage difference in wages earned by Canadian-born visible minorities compared to their Caucasian peers in 2010.
Source: Conference Board of Canada; Better accommodation.
Most Canadians own the home they live inâ¦ unless they are black, recent immigrants, or LGBTQ2 +
Speaking of homeownership, they found that the majority of Canadians live in owner-occupied housing. The survey shows that 73% of households in 2018 lived in a dwelling where the owner is a member of the household. Chinese Canadians are the most likely to own their homes, with an ownership rate of 85%. No wonder if you know that 90% of households in China live in owner-occupied dwellings. Households of seniors (78%), South Asians (74%) and ex-combatants (73%) were the average.
Not all Canadian demographics can claim such high homeownership rates. In fact, some cannot even claim the majority of the population as owners. Minority rates were found in black (48%), recent immigrant (44%) and LGBTQ2 + (47%) households. A wage gap and soaring prices help to explain this trend. Although it is not clear to what extent without further study.
Generally speaking, older households have a higher homeownership rate in Canada. This makes sense when combined with 2 in 5 recent immigrants dissatisfied with housing. Not only did older people buy when it was more affordable, or get rent when it was cheaper. They also saw their net worth increase dramatically when housing got sparkling five years ago. Their gain is also found to be a barrier for new buyers.
The study did not focus on age but it would have been interesting to see a breakdown. One might assume that younger households with no generational wealth are similarly affected.