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While the millennial generation is currently buying their first homes, propping up the market, this trend won’t last forever. A new affordability report from BMO (Bank of Montreal) notes that while this will help the market over the next few years, the decade following will see a stagnation similar to the one experienced in the 1990s, after the baby boomer generation grew out of their first-time buying age.

With tough new mortgage rules and continually rising borrowing costs, Canada’s housing market has been having a rough year so far. Prices sank in a majority of cities, and sales dropped to a five-year low in February. The Canadian Real Estate Association predicts that home sales will fall by 7.1 per cent this year.

Right now, millennials (those aged 25 – 34) are in the first-time homebuyer age bracket, helping the market stay warm, but that is expected to slow by the early 2020s. As they age out of the first-time market and settle into their first homes, the generation coming up behind them won’t have the population to sustain it. The decade to follow will see a stagnation this decade hasn’t seen.

This time, however, it is unlikely to be as rough as it was back in the 90s—as it wasn’t just the lack of first time buyers, but a huge mortgage rate increase, a speculative bubble and a massive recession (with Canada’s unemployment rate sitting in the double digits for years) that created a lack of affordability.

It’s unlikely that Canada will see either double digit unemployment rates or mortgage rates, so the stagnation won’t be as severe. But while mortgage rates shrank over the past decade, they are going to increase in the next one. This, coupled with the lack of buyers, could make for a stagnant market.

However, keep in mind that even in a difficult market, home-buying and -selling is possible with the right professionals by your side to help you navigate the added challenges.

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