The Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey, recently released, found that 17 per cent of Canadian baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) are planning to purchase a new home in the next five years. This is expected to have a meaningful impact on the housing market, as the group represents 1.4 million potential buyers and sellers (information from Statistics Canada 2016 census date). The research, conducted by Leger for Royal LePage, found that more than half (59 per cent) are opting to renovate their current residence rather than buying a new home.
“Our research does indicate that smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment than major cities,” continued Soper. “This large segment of the population views our big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.”
The survey found that 44 per cent of respondents across Canada who still have children living at home expect them to move out between the ages of 21 and 25, and 21 per cent expect them to leave between the ages 26 and 30. Eighteen per cent anticipate their children will move out after the age of 30, with 9 per cent expecting them to depart after the age of 35.
“Our 2017 research into the largest group of first time home buyers in Canada, which we call the Peak Millennials, showed many were roosting in the family nest well beyond the traditional age of exit,” Soper said. “With this work, we have confirmed that boomers are allowing children to reside at home well into adulthood. Yet they won’t stay forever, and when they go, the folks are going condo shopping.”
Currently across Canada, according to the survey, over three quarters (77 per cent) of boomers own a home, nearly one in five (19 per cent) rent, while a very small number (1 per cent) live with family. When zooming in on current dwellings, the largest number (61 per cent) of boomers across Canada live in a detached home, followed by condominiums (21 per cent) and semi-detached/townhomes (12 per cent). Of boomer respondents planning to purchase a home in the next five years, 45 per cent are most likely to purchase a detached home, 32 per cent are most likely to purchase a condominium, while 10 per cent noted strongest interest in a semi-detached/townhome and 5 per cent said a recreational property.
When asked about plans nearing or during retirement, one in five (20 per cent) boomers intend on buying a new property, while 71 per cent do not plan on buying a new home. Respondent sentiments were mixed on the desire to downsize, with less than half (41 per cent) stating that they would seek a smaller dwelling in retirement, while just over half (52 per cent) have no intention of downsizing.
A minority of respondents plan to purchase or reside in a secondary home or live elsewhere for portions of the year. Ten per cent plan to buy a secondary property, while 15 per cent plan to sell their primary residence and move into their currently owned secondary property full-time. Nearing or during retirement, nearly one-quarter of boomers nationally plan to live in another city (24 per cent) or country (23 per cent) for at least three months of the year.
With the rapid appreciation of home prices in the province, boomers in Ontario are the most likely to consider downsizing as they approach retirement. Almost half (49 per cent) of all respondents said they plan to move into a smaller home as they near or enter their golden years, the highest rate in among all regions surveyed. Four-fifths (80 per cent) of boomers in the province currently own their home, and 20 per cent plan to buy a new property within the next five years.
As boomers in Ontario plan their retirement, they are also the most likely to consider changing cities as they look for a home they can afford. Forty per cent of respondents stated that they are willing to move to a new city or suburb where homes are more affordable, the highest rate in the country. Thirty-two per cent of those willing to move would consider moving more than an hour away from their current city.
While most boomers in Ontario would prefer to remain in a detached home when downsizing, many are open to condominium living. Forty-six per cent of respondents said they would consider a condominium for their next home purchase.
“Boomers in Ontario are looking to reduce expenses as they approach retirement,” said Caroline Baile, broker, Royal LePage Your Community Realty. “By downsizing to a condo or moving to a more affordable city, boomers are able to tap into the equity in their homes and have more certainty about their costs. 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.”
Half (50 per cent) of boomers in the region said they would be willing to give money to their children to help them purchase a home. Of those that are willing to help their children with a down payment, 44 per cent of respondents would be willing to contribute up to 25 per cent of the total value of the home.