With real estate prices still sitting sky high and mortgage rates continuing to climb, the idea of home ownership is slipping further and further away from reality. And for many, it's no longer even in the cards, with 9M Canadians now saying they plan to rent forever.

A new report from fintech comparison platform Finder found that more than a quarter of Canadians over the age of 18 -- 29% -- are resigned to rent forever. And as a true sign of the times, more than 5M of these Canadians are saying they're no longer even interested in homeownership. This is a staggering 60% increase from when the same question was posed more than two years ago.

"Despite rising mortgage rates and cooling real estate sales which could potentially improve housing affordability, Canadians over the age of 18 seem to be turning their back on the dream of homeownership," the report reads. "This generation of renters could significantly alter the importance of housing and the impact of the Canadian housing market over the next few years."

In fact, just one in 10 Canadians reported being optimistic about becoming a first-time home buyer at some point in the next five years. Finder's results showed an equal balance among men and women in their attitudes towards renting forever, but the desire to own a home has dwindled more for women. Now, 17% of women reported no interest in home ownership, up from 9% in 2020.

“Buying a home is a significant decision that requires a large emotional and financial commitment,” said Finder's Senior Finance Editor Romana King. “For many, the erosion of housing affordability combined with rising mortgage costs, means the barriers to homeownership now appear almost insurmountable.”

Gen Z and millennials under 35 were the least interested in homeownership, with 9% opting not to buy a home and 12% assuming they'll rent forever. But older millennials and younger Gen Xers between 35 and 44 years old appear to be the most hopeless about owning a home, with 18% believing they'll rent forever and 13% totally disinterested in becoming homeowners.

"Getting on the property ladder can feel out of reach for many potential first-time home buyers,” King said. “While there are significant obstacles to overcome -- such as a large down payment and qualifying for loans at higher mortgage rates -- it is still possible to fulfill the homeownership dream. The work to make this happen starts long before you open up the ‘for sale’ apps.”

King recommends a number of steps aspiring homeowners can take to stay on track, such as getting pre-approved for a mortgage to find out what you can comfortably afford, talking to multiple real estate agents before selecting one, and making sure you understand all loan options available to you including loan rates, types, and terms.