The Value of Homeownership Extends Beyond Your Four Walls

The notion that homeownership creates advantages for families and individuals is not new. These oft-touted benefits of owning a home have been the subject of surveys, analysis and research for decades.

While Canadians may be familiar with the financial benefits—homes provide a chance for owners to build equity and are a major source of wealth for millions of households across the country—they may not be as familiar with the non-financial benefits of homeownership. These include a wide array of civic, educational, health, and socio-cultural benefits to one’s family and the broader society.

We took a deep dive into the history, research and analysis of these benefits from sources across Canada, the United States, Europe, and elsewhere in the world in our recently released white paper, The Homeownership Dividend for Canadians.

The benefits of homeownership extend across income levels, ages, and regions. In fact, the data and research prove many of these benefits are most pronounced for low- and middle-income households. Consider, for instance, that housing represents nearly 50% of the total net worth for Canadian households with incomes below $56,495.

The factors behind the relationship between homeownership and life satisfaction are complex. Research points to various dimensions including a sense of financial security, rootedness, and greater control over one’s life as contributing to improved life satisfaction. But whatever the cause, the overall story here is clear: homeownership contributes to higher levels of life satisfaction for individuals and their families.

Despite current challenges with housing affordability, the evidence demonstrates these broad-based benefits remain as true and relevant as ever.

There is, as this white paper outlines, a “homeownership dividend” that yields benefits for both homeowners and the broader society.

The homeownership dividend, including financial and non-financial benefits as well as individual and societal benefits, has been carefully cultivated and supported by federal policy for decades. Policies have evolved and changed over time but the basic idea that homeownership is good for homeowners, communities, and the country has been the subject of a long-standing, multi-party consensus. From the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 to the creation of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in 1946, to the launch of the Home Buyers’ Plan in 1992, the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit in 2009 and the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive in 2019, the federal government has consistently played a role in helping Canadians secure their futures through homeownership.

The goal now should be to build on and strengthen this legacy, while at the same time supporting the full continuum of housing needs in Canada. To lose the homeownership dividend would be a loss for all Canadians.

Read the full white paper now.

Prior to joining the Canadian Real Estate Association, Michael was President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in government, public affairs and government relations, including more than 10 years as an association CEO. Michael is focused on the continuing success of and member technology, federal advocacy and the reputation and public understanding of REALTORS® and the value they provide to property owners, buyers and sellers.

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