Housing prices are exhibiting a significant influence in the average childbearing age in British Columbia, if recent demographic findings are any indication.
Figures from Statistics Canada showed that B.C.’s average age of first birth now stands at 31.6. This is considerably above the 29.2 average nationally.
This is supported by a recent University of Calgary study, which found that B.C.’s total of mothers in the 35-39 age bracket has grown by 60% between 2000 and 2017. Meanwhile, the province’s mothers in the 40-44 age range have seen a twofold increase.
A long-time markets observer and affordable housing advocate has attributed the phenomenon to a two-pronged battle that large numbers of B.C.’s young women are struggling with: holding off from building families due to elevated costs, and facing the reality of their biological clocks.
“This is the province where hard work pays off the least for younger people in their prime childbearing years,” UBC professor and Generation Squeeze founder Paul Kershaw told CBC News.
Kershaw added that compared to approximately a quarter of a century ago, full-time incomes among B.C.’s working professionals suffered the worst declines nationwide. This fall has coincided with a massive upsurge in housing prices, which was also the largest across Canada.
In its latest report, Zoocasa stated that an income of at least $205,475 is required to be able to purchase a Vancouver home at the benchmark price ($1,441,000), assuming a 20% down payment at a 3.75% mortgage rate on a 30-year term.
Even condos offer no respite, as incomes of at least $93,527 are needed to be able to buy a benchmark-cost unit ($656,900).