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Peak Millennials’ (aged 25 to 30) to create strong wave of demand

National survey shows while the peak millennial dream to own property is very strong, challenges to homeownership vary across the country​

According to the Royal LePage Peak Millennial Survey released on August 17th, high home values in Canada’s largest urban markets and job uncertainty in other regions mean new strategies and different priorities for ‘peak millennials, a term coined to describe the largest cohort of the millennial demographic and the impact of their potential purchasing power.

With every census metropolitan area but Fredericton and all provinces with the exception of Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland adding to their population of 25-30 year olds over the past 5 years, decisions made by peak millennials will be far reaching.  With peak millennials as a group now reaching their late 20s, the number of people aged 25 to 30 is projected to increase 17 per cent in 2021 compared to 2016.
 

 

“Whether they choose to buy or rent, peak millennials will inevitably shape the housing market due to their sheer volume,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “We expect demand from this demographic to put additional pressure on entry-level housing and investment properties being used to supplement the limited inventory of purpose-built rental buildings.”

Although the desire to own a home is strong among peak millennials, the challenges they face on the path to homeownership are numerous. The cross-Canada survey conducted by Leger found that 87 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 30 believe homeownership is a good investment. Yet, while 69 per cent hope to own a home in the next five years, 57 per cent of those surveyed believe they will be able to afford one.

“Facing challenges their baby-boomer parents never encountered, peak millennials are confronted with significant obstacles that vary depending on where they live,” remarked Soper. “While finding employment in our largest urban markets, Toronto and Vancouver, is relatively easy compared to other areas of Canada, buyers face limited inventory and high home values in these regions. Where prices are more affordable, job markets can be more uncertain.”

Often renting or choosing to live at home can be part of a smart saving strategy for future home buyers. Thirty-five per cent of peak millennials surveyed already own a home, while another 50 per cent are renting and a further 14 per cent are living with their parents.

“The pent up demand for housing from millennials is enormous, with only a third of this large demographic currently owning a property and an overwhelming majority desiring to be homeowners,” added Soper.

When looking to purchase a property, 75 per cent of peak millennials surveyed would look to use their personal savings for a down payment, with 37 per cent seeking out alternative means of funding as well, like financial support from their families (25 per cent).

Though 61 per cent of peak millennial respondents across Canada would prefer to buy a detached home, only 36 per cent believe that they will realistically be able to find a property within this market segment. Consequently, many within this age range have adjusted their expectations and have become increasingly open to other property types, provided that they are move-in ready. Over half (52 per cent) of those surveyed would look to the suburbs when purchasing a property, especially when it comes time to raise a family (59 per cent), as the supply of new developments and spacious residences are more abundant in these areas. In addition, 61 per cent stated that they would be willing to move to another city or suburb where property is more affordable.

“While peak millennials are becoming increasingly inventive in their quest for homeownership, careful attention to urban planning could help to alleviate some of their constraints,” said Soper. “By focusing on vertical living, and developing larger, affordable condominiums in urban markets, supply limitations would ease, providing long-term, appealing solutions to young buyers in search of affordable property.”

In addition to high home values, peak millennials also face increasingly stringent mortgage stress test regulations, which push potential buyers to the sidelines, electing to either remain in the rental market to save up enough money for a down payment, or move to more affordable regions.

When asked, 64 per cent of peak millennials currently believe that homes in their area are unaffordable, with a significant proportion of respondents in both British Columbia (83 per cent) and Ontario (72 per cent) asserting that prices are simply too high. Of those that do not believe they will be able to own a home in the next five years, 69 per cent stated that they cannot afford a home in their region or the type of home they want, while roughly a quarter (24 per cent) are unable to qualify for a mortgage.

“Even in our two affordability-challenged provinces, millennials who are prioritizing homeownership can find affordable alternatives to our two largest housing markets according to our Royal LePage National House Price Composite,” said Soper. “In British Columbia, a home in Langley, Kelowna, or Victoria is approximately half the price of a home in Vancouver. In Ontario, cities such as Ottawa, London, and Hamilton offer an affordable alternative to Toronto.”

In total, nearly half (49 per cent) of the peak millennials surveyed believed that the federal government’s new mortgage regulations have impacted the types of property that they can afford, effectively pushing them into highly competitive, lower-priced market segments.

When looking for a home, 53 per cent of peak millennial purchasers across Canada are willing to spend up to $350,000, which would typically buy them a 2.5 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom property nationwide, with 1,272 square feet of living space.[5] Yet, with 58 per cent of respondents having a annual household income of less than $69,000, and only 34 per cent currently tracking to have a sufficient down payment of over 20 per cent to qualify for a mortgage in this price range, the actual logistics of homeownership can be quite difficult.

 

Ontario Summary and Trends

Despite boasting the greatest proportion of peak millennial respondents hoping to purchase property within the next five years (72 per cent), high home values in Ontario have kept many on the sidelines, with only 59 per cent believing that they will be able to own a home in the next half-decade. When asked, roughly three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents within the province believe that homes in their region are not affordable, and a further 51 per cent believe that the new mortgage regulations have impacted the types of properties that they can buy.

Thus, while 59 per cent of peak millennials surveyed in Ontario would like to buy a detached home, only 30 per cent believe they will be able to afford one. Consequently, given that 86 per cent of peak millennials view real estate as a good investment, many are willing to move to other cities or suburbs where property is more affordable (66 per cent), or have sought out alternative living arrangements that allow them to save significant amounts of money for a down payment on a home.

“As affordability continues to wane in Ontario’s largest markets, many purchasers have become increasingly inventive in their pursuit of homeownership,” said Tom Storey, sales representative, Royal LePage Signature, the Storey Team in Toronto. “Having saved up a significant amount of money in an attempt to buy a home, many peak millennials have begun to purchase property outside of their markets in more affordable suburban areas, electing to rent them out in order to build enough equity to enter the province’s more prominent areas.”

“To many peak millennials, entering the real estate market as quickly as possible is no longer just a good idea, it’s a must,” concluded Storey. “After witnessing significant home price appreciation occur for months, if not years, their perspective is that they must enter the market in the immediate-term to avoid being completely shut out, missing the opportunity to move up the property ladder, as they’ve seen so many do.”

When looking for a home, prospective buyers in Ontario with a budget of $350,000 typically purchase a 2.5 bedroom, 2.0 bathroom two-storey property with 1,338 sq. ft. of living space. In the Greater Toronto Area, purchasers often receive significantly less for $350,000, netting a 910 sq. ft. condominium with 2.0 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms on average. Those looking for property in Ottawa tend to fare far better with the same budget, garnering a 1,740 sq. ft. two-storey home on average, with 3.0 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.


Average aggregated home purchase characteristics with a budget of approximately $350,000

Province

Year

AVG
Bedrooms

AVG
Bathrooms

AVG
Living Area

Common
Property Type

Canada

2012

3.0

2.0

1,391 sq.ft.

Detached

2017

2.5

1.5

1,272 sq.ft.

Detached

Ontario

2012

3.0

2.5

1,688 sq.ft

Detached

2017

2.5

2.0

1,338 sq.ft

Detached

 

City

Year

AVG
Bedrooms

AVG
Bathrooms

AVG
Living Area

Common
Property Type

Greater
Toronto
Area

2012

3.0

2.5

1,498 sq.ft.

Detached

2017

2.0

1.5

910 sq.ft.

Condominium

Ottawa

2012

3.0

2.0

1,847 sq.ft

Detached

2017

3.0

2.5

1,740 sq.ft

Detached

 

Methodology

The tables found within this report were provided by Brookfield RPS and represent averaged characteristics for properties that sold between $0 and $350,000 as at July 2017 and July 2012. To gain additional insight into regional market dynamics and property characteristics, interviews were conducted with Royal LePage real estate professionals in the featured cities. An online survey of 1000 peak millennials (age 25-30), was then completed between June 7 and June 14, 2017, using Leger’s online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/-3.0%, 19 times out of 20.

About Royal LePage

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of over 17,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.

About Royal LePage Vision

Founded in 2003, Royal LePage Vision, in Toronto, is a multiple award-winning brokerage with a strong contingent of high-performing agents. Our strength over the past 14 years is rooted in technology and how innovation translates to exceptional service.

From top to bottom our brokerage is built on making it easier for our Realtors to succeed in real estate while staying consistently connected to the office. With a strong emphasis on training, for both our support staff & Realtors, each one of our Realtors has the support and tools to be effective in their market.

If you would like to learn more about the difference VISION makes, please give us a call at 416-321-2228 or visit moveuptoroyallepage.com.

 

Royal LePage Vision Realty, Brokerage
2210 Markham Rd., # 1
Toronto, ON M1B 5V6

Phone: (416) 321-2228
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Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under license.

The information provided herein must only be used by consumers that have a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale or lease of real estate and may not be used for any commercial purpose or any other purpose.

Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by TREB.

Toronto Real Estate Board - IDX Last Updated: 12/13/2017 6:21:30 PM