Millennials find Toronto too pricey, looking to the suburbs, study shows

Are you between the ages of 18 and 34 and can’t fathom the thought of paying a mortgage in Toronto?

Well, you aren’t alone.

A study by Angus Reid found that nearly half of millennials living in Toronto consider leaving because of high housing prices.

In the survey, 45 per cent of people aged 18-34 agree they are “seriously thinking of leaving the GTA because of the cost of owning a home here.”

Even though it was just recently named one of the world’s most liveable cities by the Economist magazine, many young adults say living in downtown Toronto is just not feasible for them.

“I would have loved to buy my own place in Toronto, but I ended up having to rent a place in Etobicoke,” said Mona Khabaz, 26.

“It’s just how expensive it is … It’s mind-blowing.”

Instead of renting a place in Toronto, Khabaz will be moving into a one-bedroom apartment in the Toronto suburb that features a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a deck.

All that for $850.00 in rent, with an extra $100 for electricity and parking.

Khabaz’s boyfriend lives in City Place in Toronto’s downtown core, and she says that he’s paying a lot more for the luxury of walking to work.

She has been out of university for four years and started work right away. She set a goal of paying off her student debt and stayed at home with her parents to make it possible.

Now she has a full-time job working in marketing and has a “pretty decent salary,” but if she wants to think about getting married, having kids or buying a house, she knows living in Toronto is not an option right now.

“I would basically have no savings,” she said.

Khabaz gets the keys to her new place right on the water in a few days which gives her the best of both worlds because her work is not too far and she can travel to Toronto any time she wants.

The location was key for Khabaz.

“I really enjoy running and I get to be so close to the lake without paying so much,” she said.

She added that the apartment is on top of a dentist’s office, but that it doesn’t compare to what she was looking at in Toronto because everything resembles the size of a shoe box.

It’s also only a 24km drive from her job in Mississauga.

According to the Angus Reid study, a full 73 per cent of people, who like Khabaz have stepped outside of the concrete jungle, said they “don’t live in Toronto because I have access to more space for the same or a lower price in my community or city.”

Some cities even started to help out first-time home buyers.

Hamilton created a program to gentrify targeted areas by offering assistance in the form of down payments to low-and-moderate-income residents who rent in the city and are looking to buy a home.

A loan is available to eligible first-time homeowners, with no interest or monthly payments, to help them buy in certain neighbourhoods.

“Many of the participants have purchased homes and there are a few still looking,” said Aisling Higgins, spokesperson for the City of Hamilton.

Higgins said the city will do an analysis after this cycle of people find their homes to assess the number of participants and provide an age breakdown.

Khabaz said when she’s ready to buy, she wants a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, and that location is a big factor. Saving now could allow her and her boyfriend to have that in the future.

“I can’t wait for the bubble to burst,” laughs Khabaz. “I am looking forward to the one day that I can say I own this place. I am striving for that.”

Source: 680 News by ALANNA KELLY Posted Sep 5, 2015 3:55 pm EDT

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