Share of renters trending up across all age groups; Oshawa seeing some of the biggest jumps

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Published June 6, 2024 at 11:09 am

for rent sign

The share of renters in Ontario on the rise and the biggest change is in the demographics – it’s no longer just young people driving the boom.

From Gen Z to Baby Boomers, renting has become widespread across all age groups and Oshawa is among the leaders. In eighth spot in the province overall, sandwiched between Ottawa and St. Catharines, its 23,725 renter households make up 35.8 per cent of the total households in the city.

According to research compiled by real estate search website Point2, Oshawa is also seeing some of the biggest increases among renters across Canada in three different age categories: 25-35 (up 10 per cent), the 45-54 demographic (up 5.4 per cent) and the 55-64 cohort (up 3.2 per cent.) Overall, the city is tied in third with Markham with a 4.3 per cent jump in renters in the five years between 2016 and 2021, rising from 31.5 per cent to 35.8 per cent.

Vancouver suburb Richmond, B.C has seen the biggest spike since 2016, with its share of renters up 11.1 per cent, but Ontario cities took the next seven spots, including Waterloo at #2 (up 7.1 per cent), followed by Oshawa and Markham.

Ajax also made the national top five for its 13.4 per cent spike among the under-24 crowd.

Student-heavy Kingston leads the nation in that demographic, with a whopping 92.9 per cent of its under-24 residents renting their accommodation.

In half of the big Ontario cities analyzed, the percentage of renters is higher than the 33 per cent national average. Toronto leads the province with a renter share of 48 per cent, followed by Kingston, London and Kitchener – each with more than 40 per cent of all households occupied by renters.

Nationally, Montreal led the way with 63.4 per cent of its more than half a million householders’ renters, with Toronto (54.5 per cent), Kingston, London, Kitchener and Waterloo also making the top 15.

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