Almost all say Toronto homes unaffordable

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Almost all say Toronto homes unaffordable

One third of homeowners use them as retirement savings

TORONTO April 13th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 858 Toronto voters, almost all characterize Toronto’s homes as unaffordable (89%), and 4-in-10 describe them as “not at all affordable” (41%). Those most likely to say Toronto homes are not at all affordable are the youngest (56%), those in mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 44%), in the downtown (45%) and among Olivia Chow voters from the last election (51%).

6-in-10 own, of these, two thirds have mortgages

Close to 6-in-10 Toronto voters own their homes (58%), and this is especially common among the oldest (75%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 81%), in the old Borough of York (caution, small base - 72%) and among the best educated (post grad - 65%). Among homeowners, two thirds still have a mortgage (64%), and this is most common to the youngest (81%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 74%), in York (caution: small base - 76%) and the best educated (university graduate or more - 68%).

One third use home as RRSP

One third of Toronto homeowners say they use their homes as their retirement savings (34%), and this behaviour is common to the boomers (55 to 64 - 41%), low to mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 49%), in North York (39%), among Doug Ford voters and among the least educated (43%).

Homeowners estimate average value of Toronto home at over $800K

When asked to estimate the current value of their homes, homeowners are most likely to say $500K to $1 million (52%), followed by less than $500K (28%). On average, claimed value of Toronto homes in total is about $830K, and is highest among boomers ($960K), the wealthiest ($900K) and in the downtown ($990K). The highest proportion of homes under $500K is in Etobicoke (35%).

Very few homeowners plan to sell soon

Fewer than one tenth of homeowners plan to sell their homes within the year (7%), and it is more common among the youngest (9%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 17%), in Scarborough (9%), among Chow voters (11%), those with children (9%) and the best educated (post grad - 11%).

One fifth of renters plan to buy

One fifth of those who don’t own homes plan to buy one in the next year (20%), which, coupled with the fact that just half this percentage of homeowners plan to sell (7%), illustrates the Toronto market shortage. Those who plan to buy are younger (35 to 44 - 29%), wealthier ($80K to $100K - 41%), in North York (24%), among Doug Ford voters (30%) and among those with children (33%).

 “Hope springs eternal, and one fifth of the renters in Toronto plan to buy a home in the next year. The conundrum is, of course, a fifth of owners aren’t selling, more like half that proportion, so there is a market gap. And not only a gap between supply and demand, but a significant affordability gap as well, in that almost no one sees the Toronto home as affordable," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.