More and more people in Canada are living in condos, motivated by a variety of different factors: affordability, proximity to urban employment and amenities, reduced environmental footprints and simplified lifestyles among them. Baby boomers have been slow to adopt condo living, but are at least making the switch. In the process, because of the size and influence of their generation, they’re creating several noticeable trends in the real estate development industry.
- Money to spend: many baby boomers did very well in the real estate market, building up significant equity in their homes over the years and selling them for huge profits. Many are now in a position to help their children with down payments on homes; so one home sale may mean two home purchases. Others, have already profited significantly from the sale of their single-family homes, are less concerned about earning returns on their next real estate investments. They’re willing to pay more for comfort and lifestyle in a luxury condo, even though it may not net them a profit later.
- Living space: those moving out of their large single family homes with big yards when they raised their families are eager for the relative simplicity and security of living in a smaller home or condo living, they don’t necessarily want to downsize. They still want room for their furniture and extra bedrooms for children and grandchildren to visit. The result is larger condos with two or three bedrooms.
- Location, location: boomers moving into condos are of two minds: some want to re-locate to downtown, close to amenities like restaurants and entertainment, in a busy community. Others want to stay in the communities they’ve raised their families and made friendships. Developers are building to accommodate both these markets adding density in suburban neighbourhoods, as well as building bigger condo units in the downtown urban cores where micro-condos have been a more recent trend.
- All the comforts of home: boomers want amenities that they had in their previous family homes: usable outdoor space (now low-maintenance), full-size appliances, walk-in closets and two car garages. They also want storage space for possessions and memorabilia they’ve accumulated over their lifetimes.
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