I would buy if I could. I am 28 years old, married, with two school aged children.
Here in Canada they keep making it more and more difficult for first time buyers. They took away 30 year mortgages, they raised interest rates, they increased the mortgage qualification bar for first time buyers.
I'm also self employed. Apparently that looks bad on an application, because I can't "guarantee" my income will continue at the level it's at. Despite providing financial records from the past 3 years that show a steady growth. It is an absolute bullshit excuse, because no job is ever guaranteed.
By being self employed, I have control over my future. I decide how much money I pay myself. I decide if my business continues, or if it fails in how I manage it. If I worked for someone else, my future would be in the hands of my employer. I've worked for 2 companies in the past that went under due to mismanagement. Businesses fail, whether they are mine or not.
So now here I am paying $1200/mo in rent for a house that if I could have qualified for the mortgage (this exact house was on the market when I was trying to buy), I'd be paying less than I am currently and building up my own equity. I pay all of my own utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, garbage/recycling collection), so its not like the landlord is doing me any favours.
We can clearly afford it, as we're not struggling in any way. The banks said no, but the guy that bought this house is a serial purchaser, turns around and rents out to make a profit and builds up his equity on my dollar.
It's a messed up system. Because those who buy to rent out make a profit, and the young families miss out on opportunities, and are forced to pay more by renting.
On the other hand, we already decided we're going to move across the country when the lease is up. Mostly because we've lived here most of our lives and are ready to experience somewhere new, but also because we're not tied down, and some other unrelated reasons.