High bar of entry for new owners—analyst

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“If I only had a buck for every time someone criticized today’s young people for having fancy smartphones. The point being made is that millennials are mindless slaves to fashion who spend above their pay grade on toys.”
Thus wrote long-time housing industry analyst Rob Carrick in a February 21 commentary piece for The Globe and Mail. Carrick described the dangers of forcing millennials and young families to make “more mature” spending choices such as real estate in a market characterized by ever-growing prices, especially in regions hardest hit by the global petroleum price crashes.
In particular, he pointed at recent regulatory changes—such as the $13,000 property transfer tax break on each B.C. home priced less than $750,000—as fertile ground for large-scale financial problems down the line.
“With houses, a vastly more expensive purchase, we encourage young people to spend beyond their means. We feel they’re entitled to a home and must be helped to buy if necessary because ownership is such a great financial move,” Carrick said.
“No matter how much money you have to save for a down payment, buying a house is the easy part. It’s much harder to afford the endless financial demands of home ownership and find money for your other goals and obligations,” he added.
Carrick highlighted the need for more viable housing options and a major shift in perspective in the sector, especially among brokers and other industry players whose role is to mainly encourage this new crop of consumers to participate in the market.
“Our finances would be better off if we started treating houses as what they are – consumer goods that a growing number of people cannot afford and shouldn’t buy because they’re too pricey,” Carrick stated.

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