Millennials know what they want
ACCORDING to a recent Altus Group report, it’s a myth to assume that millennials can be typecast into specific categories as it relates to housing preferences.
There has been a prevailing view that millennials in larger markets want to live downtown, presumably where the action is and closer to work. It was assumed that even if it meant they would have to settle for less square footage of living space, they would do so in order to live downtown.
However, results show those under 35 years of age show no difference in preferences than the 35 – 49, 50 – 69 and those over 70 years old. Only 19 per cent of millennials agreed that they would prefer to live in a smaller home in a central area than a larger home in the suburbs. All four age groups landed between 16 per cent and 22 per cent. Interestingly enough, there was virtually no difference between the millennials, baby busters and baby boomers when it came to choosing to live in a smaller downtown space and a larger suburban space.
A BMO poll indicated, although Canadian millennials don’t like paying rent, 70 per cent would rather hold out for a home that they really want before entering the market with just any home. This may show some additional caution on their part as two-thirds of those surveyed indicated that they are actively saving money for a down payment.
Damon Knights of BMO warned prospective buyers waiting for the perfect situation need to be mindful the housing market is not waiting for them.
There was some fear the increasing real estate market prices in Canada’s two largest urban centres would result in an exodus of the millennial generation. That certainly does not appear to be true.
In Toronto, where prices have been increasing faster than anywhere else in the country, sales have also been brisk. The metro area is experiencing a rejuvenation of younger buyers buying their first homes.
Similarly, in Vancouver, there were fears that millennials were exiting the city in droves due to exorbitant house prices. However, upon further investigation, in the last 10 years metro Vancouver has seen an increase of 86,000 people between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s an 18 per cent increase versus an overall population increase of 9.3 per cent over the same period.
It is evident marketing to millennials is good business, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that one size fits all. This generation knows what it wants and is willing to both wait and pay for it.
The metro area of Toronto is experiencing a rejuvenation of younger buyers purchasing their first homes