June 14, 2019 6:00 am

Manitoba Real Estate Association pushes back against study claiming millennials priced out of market

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, FIle)

A recent study by an advocacy group for young Canadians suggests that millennials are being priced out of Manitoba’s housing market, but the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) is refuting those claims.

MREA president David Powell told Global News that the study – by the Generation Squeeze organization – isn’t painting the full picture.

“I think that a little bit more research might be needed,” said Powell.

“Yes, there are affordability issues in major centres, Vancouver and Toronto. But here in Manitoba, in Winnipeg, this is one of the most affordable areas for home ownership in Canada.”

READ MORE: Manitoba millennials priced out of local housing market: study

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The report says average Manitoba home prices are 12 per cent more expensive than what young people between 25-34 can afford, and that the average home price in this province would need to drop by $34,000 for someone in that age group to be able to afford an 80 per cent mortgage at today’s interest rates.

“I’ve been doing this for over 25 years, and there’s never been a time when housing prices have not been shock and awe,” said Powell.

“It is a challenge, always, for first-time home buyers to get involved in our market.

“Yes, there’s debt – everyone who starts off faces those challenges, but once they get into home ownership and start to build an equity position, it’s one of the strengths of Manitoba’s economy.”

Powell said would-be homeowners don’t necessarily need to make a 20 per cent down payment (which is used in the report’s calculations), and that a new equity share program being offered by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that will be launched this fall will further help out buyers.

WATCH: Winnipeg housing industry getting ready for new mortgage rules

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