In Canada, the proportion of renter households tends to decrease as the population ages. This is true, with renter rates reaching a low point among households aged 50 – 59. However, renter rates rise again after households reach the age of 60. This indicates that some households go back to being renters after having been homeowners.
In the latest Housing Market Insight for Gatineau, we explore the tenure choices of different generations (cohorts) in the area. We also look at the impact these choices could have on demand.
- From 1991 to 2016, the renter rate declined in the Gatineau area.
- Between 2006 and 2016, condominium ownership rates rose for most cohorts, indicating growing demand for this housing type.
- The proportion of households aged 55 or older living in houses fell to 66% in 2016 from 70% in 2006. The proportion of households living in apartments increased.
- The baby boomer cohort has a lower renter rate than their parents did at the same age. However, because of boomers’ demographic weight, they will maintain or even drive up the growth rate of rental demand.
Regarding this last point, the return to renting of homeowner households has remained a reality from generation to generation. However, as they age, successive generations turning 60 years old have had lower renter rates than the previous generations. This means that, when baby boomers reach their parents’ age, a smaller percentage of them will be renters than in their parents’ cohort. Because of the sheer size of the boomer cohort, though, they will still cause rental demand to increase over the coming years.