Housing costs of elderly families


Raj K. Chawla, Ted Wannell


Statistics Canada




In 1999, homeowning families whose major income recipient was 65 or over had lived in their home for an average of 25 years, and 90% had
completely paid off their mortgage.

 Because of long tenure, appreciation accounted
for 60% of the equity of senior homeowners
compared with 46% for homeowners with a
major income recipient between 45 and 64 and
29% for those under 45. As a result, the average
senior homeowner was paying about $1,000 per
year in property taxes on appreciation alone.

 Senior homeowners had accumulated more than
three times the wealth of senior renters (double if
home equity is excluded). As well, senior homeowners
had nearly twice the income of their renting
counterparts ($41,000 compared with $23,000).

 Senior renters with low incomes paid 43% of
their income to the landlord. Senior homeowners
with low incomes who were mortgage-free paid
an average of 12% of their income for property
taxes; those who still carried a mortgage paid an
average of 56% in mortgage payments and
property taxes.

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Source: Consumer Policy Research Database

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