-According to Royal LePage National Survey
Despite the perception that aging Baby Boomers may create an oversupply of traditional single-family homes as they downsize into smaller residences, a new Royal LePage Real Estate survey shows that demand for suburban detached homes remains strong among Baby Boomers and Generation Y.
The poll by Leger Marketing found that of the 40.6 per cent of Baby Boomers (born between 1947 and 1966), who do have plans to move to another primary residence, almost half (43.5 per cent) are looking to purchase another primary residence that is a similar size or larger than their current property. Of the total responses from Baby Boomers who intend to purchase their next primary residence, 66.8 per cent said they will do so in the next five years.
“Baby Boomers are the wealthiest generation in Canadian history. They live in large homes with ample space for their many possessions. They love their garages and their yards. This study clearly indicates that contrary to popular belief, most Boomers do not intend to downsize anytime soon,” said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate.
Contributing to the desire of Baby Boomers to continue to invest in large, suburban homes is the reality of housing children well into adulthood. According to the survey, a quarter of Generation Y lives rent free because of arrangements with family or friends, but that number climbs to 33.4 per cent in the Prairies, 29.7 per cent in Quebec and 27.2 per cent in Ontario.
“The adult children of Baby Boomers aren’t going anywhere fast. Good jobs have proven more difficult for them to find, they’re extending their studies and they’re living at home. It is no wonder the concept of swapping a family-sized home for a small retreat has lost its luster,” said Soper.
Among Baby Boomers who plan to downsize when they purchase their next residence, the most popular reasons are to reduce maintenance (73.7 per cent), free up money for retirement (48.1 per cent) and for travel (30.9 per cent).
Regional Comparisons of Those Planning to Move
Regional Generation Y comparisons showed that more Ontarians and Albertans place importance on being close to the city’s downtown area or town’s core than Quebecers and those from the Prairie provinces. Likewise, a gym or fitness centre is more important to Ontarians, Albertans and British Columbians than it is to Atlantic Canadians or Quebecers. Atlantic Canadians also place less importance on proximity to public transportation, restaurants or entertainment than Generation Y living elsewhere in the country.
When comparing Baby Boomers across Canada, Ontarians, Quebecers and Albertans are more likely to choose a home in the country than British Columbians. More Baby Boomers from British Columbia value being close to public transportation when purchasing a home than those from Ontario and Alberta. In addition, there are no significant regional differences comparing Baby Boomers who want to upsize, downsize or continue to live in a similar sized property.