According to a Century 21 survey, the majority of Canadians are not living in their idyllic homes—and that presents sales agents a golden opportunity.
Of 1,000 surveyed Canadians living in metropolitan areas, only 41% responded that they’re as close to their ideal home as possible, while 43% ranked their living situations as moderately ideal, and 16% far from what they truly desire.
Century 21 Canada’s Executive Vice-President Brain Rushton says that the survey reveals two sizeable demographics that could fill agents’ pipelines.
“There were predictions 20 years ago that the baby boomer generation would want to downsize and that nobody would want the big houses they lived in, but that didn’t happen,” said Rushton. “Some did for lifestyle and cashed out—we see that more in Toronto now, where they cash out and move into nice neighbourhoods in Pickering and Oshawa and still have a bunch of cash to put in their pocket.
“Baby boomers in their mid- to late-60s are living longer and may want to enjoy some sun in Florida during the winter, so how do they accommodate that with their home? Neighbourhoods also change and might no longer be the places they raised their kids in, so they may want to move. They’re cashing out of homes that, over the years, built tremendous equity for them. The boomers are the opportunity we may not have realized yet.”
In the Greater Toronto Area, boomers are moving out of inner cities and into suburbs and satellite cities like Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and London.
Millennials and Generation Y, on the other hand, will shape Canada’s housing market for years to come. As younger people are wont to do, they’re flocking to major metropolitan areas and opting to live as close to city cores as possible.
“’Lifestyle’ continues being a key buzzword through all the surveys we’re doing these days,” said Rushton. “The opportunity is for developers and realtors to focus on that lifestyle choice because not everybody wants to move from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to the suburbs because they want to start a family.”
The Century 21 survey also illuminated how marketplace realities can influence desired housing types. For example, while 10% of Calgarians want to live in condos, that number ballooned to 37% in Vancouver.
“If you look at that 37%, it’s because that’s a reality of the marketplace. It probably takes a little more of a detailed look into it, but Calgary is a marketplace with a lot of land and its expanding into the north. They have a highway system that’s pretty effective.”
The survey also revealed that people aged 55 and older were least partial to living in single-family detached homes (62%) and most drawn to condo living (28%).