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Despite affordability concerns, Millennials are surprisingly optimistic about the GTA housing market

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Photo: James Bombales

It’s no secret that housing affordability remains a top concern for Millennials living in the GTA, as home prices continue to sit well above their 10-year average. But according to a new poll, the generation is surprisingly optimistic about the future of the market.

Up to 41 per cent of Millennials said they believe that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for the number of new residents that settle there every year, according to Ipsos poll data released today by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).

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That’s well above other age groups, including those 35 to 41 (31 per cent) and those over 55 (27 per cent).

Millennials represent a major source of housing demand in the GTA, with hundreds of thousands expected to buy homes in the area within the next decade.

“There are about 730,000 millennials living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who may be planning to move on from living in their parents’ homes and from sharing a dwelling with roommates in the next ten years, potentially creating 500,000 new households,” writes BILD president and CEO Dave Wilkes, in a statement.

While they may be more optimistic than their older counterparts about the GTA’s ability to absorb new residents, Millenials do remain concerned about the area’s relative lack of affordable housing options.

In fact, 94 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 reported feeling concerned about the ability of today’s youth to afford a home in the GTA.

Wilkes has long maintained that, ahead of the upcoming municipal elections, government policy should focus on the supply-side of the housing equation, in order to bring prices down and ensure there is plenty of relatively affordable housing for Millennial buyers.

Previous government policy, including a mortgage stress test which came into effect in January, has largely focused on the demand-side of the equation.

“There has been an over-emphasis on the demand side, and we really need to look at some of the current conditions to ensure proper supply comes on stream,” Wilkes tells Livabl.

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