Condo segment should brace for over a million boomers - report

by Ephraim Vecina on 13 Aug 2018

The newly released Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey reported that approximately 1.4 million Canadian baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have indicated a desire to purchase a home within the next 5 years.

“Don’t count them out yet – baby boomers will impact Canada’s housing market in a big way in the coming years,” Royal LePage president and CEO Phil Soper said.

“Our research does indicate that smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment than major cities,” Soper added. “This large segment of the population views our big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.”

Indeed, a significant proportion of those polled are considering condominiums – long seen as a segment that offers relative affordability – as their primary choice of residence upon retirement.

When asked about their home purchase plans, 32% of respondents indicated a desire to get condos, while 10% expressed a preference for semi-detached/town homes. Meanwhile, 5% of boomers want recreational properties, with nearly half (45%) saying that they are most likely to purchase detached homes.

Read more: Is it time to ditch millennial stereotypes?

42% of boomers in B.C. said that they are planning to use their current homes to fund future condo purchases. 37% also said that they would be willing to move to new markets in search for greater affordability.

“More and more, we’re seeing baby boomers in British Columbia downsizing from a detached home to a condominium,” Royal LePage Northstar Realty managing broker Michael Trites said. “Increasingly, they are transitioning into condos to unlock some of the equity they have built up in their homes, while gaining more flexibility as their health and lifestyle preferences change.”

Meanwhile, in red-hot Ontario, 46% of boomers said that they would choose condos as their next homes. 40% expressed readiness to move to more affordable locales, with 32% saying that they are willing to move more than an hour away from their current locations.

“Boomers in Ontario are looking to reduce expenses as they approach retirement,” Royal LePage Your Community Realty broker Caroline Baile explained. “They are looking to transition into a lifestyle that gives them more freedom to pursue other activities without having to deal with time-consuming upkeep and unexpected repairs.”



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