More homeowners, fewer renters, StatsCan says

Over two-thirds of households in 2006 owned the home they lived in, driving ownership rates to record levels, according to Statistics Canada.

Over two-thirds of households in 2006 reported owning the home they lived in, driving ownership rates to a record level, according to a Statistics Canada report released Wednesday.

Census data from 2006 showed that of the 12.4 million households in Canada, about 8.5 million reported living in their own home. The federal agency noted that 913,000 homeowners lived in condos in 2006, an increase of 36.5 per cent from 2001.

 Home ownership rates
 Region Percentage
 Canada 68.4
 N.L. 78.7
 P.E.I. 74.1
 Nova Scotia 72.0
 New Brunswick 75.5
 Quebec 60.1
 Ontario 71.0
 Manitoba 68.9
 Saskatchewan 71.8
 Alberta 73.1
 British Columbia 69.7
 Yukon 63.8
 Northwest Territories 52.9
 Nunavut 22.7

Meanwhile, rental rates have dipped from 33.8 per cent in 2001 to 31.2 per cent in 2006.

The increase in ownership was in part attributed to the booming condo market. In 2006, 913,000 households owned a condominium — an increase of 36.5 per cent from 2001.

"The increase in condominium owners during this period accounted for one-quarter of the increase in the number of Canadian households that owned their dwelling," Statistics Canada said.

More single consumers also became homeowners, the federal agency said, with 47.8 per cent reporting they owned their own home — an increase of 11.8 per cent from 2001.

The federal agency noted 57.9 per cent of households had a mortgage in 2006, breaking an earlier record set in 1981 when the baby boom generation's home buying accelerated.

Shelter costs rising

The census data also revealed that more Canadians were having difficulty budgeting their housing costs, with an estimated three million households spending more than 30 per cent of their income — deemed the affordability benchmark — on shelter costs.
More single consumers have become homeowners, with 47.8 per cent of households reporting they owned their own home, according to Statistics Canada. ((Patti Edgar/CBC))

"Shelter costs reported by Canadian households (including both owners and renters) increased faster than consumer prices, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), between 2001 and 2006 (11.3 per cent). They rose faster for owner households than for renters," the report said.

The median shelter cost in 2006 was $8,057 for renters and $10,056 for owners.

"The increase in the number of homeowners with mortgages spending 30 per cent or more on shelter accounted for almost 90 per cent of the total rise in the number of households spending above this threshold during the five-year period," Statistics Canada said.

Newfoundland and Labrador led the country with the greatest number of homeowners at 78.7 per cent, while Quebec had the lowest rate at 60.1 per cent.

Statistics Canada first began keeping records on home ownership in 1971.