Top 10 values of the new generation buying real estate in the next 5 years

As I mentioned in my previous blog posting “ BUY or not BUY a home in the next 5 years”, the younger generation will be the one considering buying real estate. We call them generation X and generation Y. Therefore if you are planning on renovating, selling, investing, downsizing or upsizing, you might want to keep in mind what these 2 generations most value.

Generation X - those born between 1965 and 1977 - more focused on family and casualty

Generation Y – those born between 1977 and 1995 – more focused on technology and entertainment - this generation is not expected to enter the housing market until 2016, however CMHC states that the population in downtown Toronto tripled in the last 5 years. Gen Y makes up about half the downtown population. No wonder why so many investors prefer to entertain the bidding wars downtown.

Generation X is a very important category. They are into their parenting age, are more focused on raising their families in their dream homes, with fine kitchens, oversized master bedroom with large walk in closets and royal master ensuite, with lots of space for organizing and a big backyard for the kids to play . They're also much more in tune to style and design, and know exactly what they want in a home, they prefer to move into turnkey homes instead of renovating themselves. Gen X values are closer to the baby boomers ones.

Gen Y is eco-conscious, tech-savvy, urban, exceptionally social and prone to postponing marriage and children. I believe Gen Y is planning on moving out of the suburbs and into the city, closer to work, schools and entertainment. In order to satisfy their social needs their ideal home might be situated in a lively, walkable downtown area, close to cafés, restaurants, clubs, trendy shops and parks. Condominiums are probably the best option to meet their needs. They are also the most affordable option especially for buyers with a single income. Condos also offer them the access to swimming pools, gyms, lounges, meeting rooms and rooftop patios with BBQ areas. Renovated downtown townhomes, semis and singles are another option, especially for the gen Y that has a family already and planning on having children. 2-3 bedrooms with a whirlpool, completely wired, with a modern kitchen, a game room in the basement and a nice patio for entertainment are ideal. Not a big backyard is needed. Gen Y buyers raised in the suburbs, in gen X oversized houses, might still consider living in the suburbs and buying a single detached home which must meet their Gen Y taste but will be closer to the values of gen X .

According to the 2011 census in Canada, baby boomers represent 29% of the population and Gen Y represents 27%. This has most probably changed already and will change drastically within the next 5 years.

Below are conclusions from the GFK ROPER report in regards to the top 10 dream home amenities, valued by the different generations which conclude that values towards homes change as people enter different stages of their lives. It is very interesting to note that some values don’t change from one generation to another. Gen X still values state-of-the art kitchens, large walk-in closets, whirlpool baths and fire places and gardens. Gen Y values more technology and entertainment, however, fine kitchens and fireplaces are still within their top priorities.

Now the most important question is: will gen Y be moving out of the suburbs or not??? Time will be the only one telling us, however, we, as parents hope to keep our kids as close to us as possible to enjoy them for as long as we can .

Top dream-home amenities vary in importance by generation:

Rank

GenerationY
(born1978-1995)

Rank

GenerationX
(born1965-1977)

Rank

Babyboomers
(born1946-1964)

1

Whirlpool bath

1

State-of-the-art kitchen

1

State-of-the-art kitchen

2

Swimming pool

2

Large walk-in closets

2

Large walk-in closets

3

Game/billiard room

2

Fireplace

3

Whirlpool bath

3

Large walk-in closets

4

Whirlpool bath

4

Fireplace

5

Fireplace

5

Swimming pool

5

Swimming pool

6

State-of-the-art kitchen

6

Patios, porches and decks

6

Workshop/hobby studio

7

Sauna/steam room

7

Game/billiard room

7

Patios, porches and decks

7

Gym/fitness room

8

Garden

7

Garden

9

High-tech entertainment center

9

Gym/fitness room

9

Game/billiard room

10

Patios, porches and decks

10

Workshop/hobby studio

9

High-tech entertainment center

References:

  1. GFK ROPER report
  2. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  3. Statistics Canada 2011 census

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Lavinia Serbanescu

Lavinia Serbanescu

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Heritage Group Ltd., Brokerage*
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