Canada’s aging population: are you prepared?

by Olivia D'Orazio24 Nov 2014
Canada’s population is aging, but some generations are growing faster than others – and smart agents are finding different ways to target this demographic now.
“Their families have grown up and left the home,” George Burns, an agent with Re/Max who specializes in the senior and baby boomer demographics, tells REP. “They don’t need all the extra space, they want to cash out; it’s a lifestyle change.”
According to the CMHC’s annual Canadian Housing Observer, the senior population is growing three times as fast as non-seniors – by 2036, 24 per cent of Canadians will be older than 65.
And this generation, like the millennial generation, is increasingly opting for condo living, mainly due to the easy maintenance – or lack thereof.
“With a small bungalow, you still have the responsibilities and upkeep of homeownership, but in a condo, everything is looked after for you,” Burns says. “[In a condo, there’s] the camaraderie with people of the same age and they can do things together.”
Smart agents are turning their attention to these figures, either by targeting boomers directly or working to specialize in the condo market. In 2011, condos represented 12.6 per cent of owner-occupied homes across the country – nearly four times their market share in 1981. Of the homes owned by seniors – those older than 65 – 26.1 per cent were condominiums.
“Population aging, shrinking household sizes, increasing urbanization, and the high cost of housing in some parts of Canada contributed to the strong growth in condominiums,” the CMHC said in its report, “a form of tenure that spares residents direct responsibility for seeing too much of the maintenance and upkeep required to keep their homes in good physical condition.”
Sales, too, are reflecting the shift to condo living.  The latest CREA data suggests condo sales for the month of October rose 15.3 per cent year-over-year in Vancouver, 6.9 per cent in Toronto and 20.5 per cent in Calgary.

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