Royal LePage: Both Baby Boomers and their offspring don’t care for condos
Some house hungry buyers have been praying down-sizing Baby Boomers will free up loads of low-rise stock. But it looks like the Boomers are in no rush to give up their houses for high-rise suites.
And a downtown pad isn’t all that appealing to their kids, either.
Royal LePage released new stats based on a poll by Leger Marketing that downplays the idea of a mass exodus of Boomers from their roomy suburban homes. In fact, that demographic seems put off by the idea of moving into a smaller space altogether.
For the 40.6 per cent of Boomers (people born between 1947 and 1966) who are planning on decamping for another main residence, nearly half (43.5 per cent) have their eye on a new home that’s the same size or even larger than their current space.
And it’s the menfolk who are keen to take on more space. According to the study, about 23 per cent of male boomers said they planned on increasing their square footage, compared to just 12.1 per cent of women.
“[Boomers] love their garages and their yards,” said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage Real Estate, in the press release.
And developers won’t be able to entice these buyers into downtown condos with fitness centres, movie theatres or fancy lobbies. For boomers entertaining the idea of condo life, they prefer fewer frills and lower maintenance fees.
The children of Boomers appear to have inherited their parents’ housing preferences as well. Only 22.9 per cent of Baby Boomers looking to purchase their next home want condos and apartments and 15.7 per cent of Generation Y (those born between 1980 and 1994) said they plan to go condo.
For Generation Y, the ideal seems to be a big house in the suburbs as many are hoping to start a family in the near future. They showed the most interest in single-family multi-storey homes (50.6 per cent) and bungalows (19.0 per cent). They’re also planning to buy outside the city: 55.7 per cent had the suburbs in mind while only 21.7 per cent were considering the downtown core.
Torontonians, however, may be scratching their heads over these trends considering the city’s recent population boom. A recent report by TD Economics pointed out that the city’s downtown population explosion in the last five has largely been fueled by condo-dwelling Echo Boomers (those between 1972 and 1992), a demographic that includes Generation Y.
The Royal LePage report points out that in Ontario and Alberta, Gen Y places more importance on being close to downtown than their peers in Quebec or the other prairie provinces. So perhaps GTA-based developers shouldn’t be too concerned: the younger demographic’s dream of a white-picket fence and a large lawn may be more of a trend outside the province.