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Stats Can Reports Tenants Continue Paying Over a Third of Income for Rent While Home Ownership Drops

As rents continue to increase, a large proportion of British Columbians are still spending more than a third of their income on shelter.

The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that over 37 per cent of tenants were above that threshold in 2021.

The good news, though, is that’s lower than the 43 per cent recorded in 2016.

On Vancouver Island, a little less than 40 percent of tenants paid more than a third of their income for rent last year, down from over 47 percent in 2016.

As for homeowners in British Columbia, Statistics Canada reports approximately 19 per cent paid more than a third of their income last year for shelter, down just over a percentage point from 2016.

Meanwhile, home ownership in Canada is declining.

Statistics Canada says just over 66 per cent of Canadians owned a home in 2021, down from a peak of nearly 70 percent in 2011.

British Columbia had the third-largest decline in the rate of home ownership during that time.

Statistics Canada reports those under the age of 75 are less likely to own a home.

It also says the number of young adults between 25 and 29 years old that owned homes fell to 36.5 per cent last year, compared to just over 44 per cent a decade ago.

The number of renters has grown by more than 21 per cent in the last decade.

In British Columbia, Nanaimo was one of the top two cities where renter households grew fastest, at 40 per cent more people renting.

Statistics Canada also reports recently built homes are increasingly likely to be rental units.

Just over 40-per cent of housing built in the five years ending in 2021 was tenant-occupied.

That is the highest since the 1960s post-war apartment boom.

Statistics Canada says the housing market is being influenced by several factors as people search for an affordable place to call home.

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