Baby boomers find big cities in Canada too expensive and unaffordable for retirement.
Now this generation is looking to re-enter the housing market, and considering downsizing or moving out of larger cities, like Toronto and Vancouver.
According to a new survey by Royal LePage, more than half of Ontario boomers could choose to sell their family homes to make this move.
The survey polled 1,000 Canadians online between July 12 and July 17, 2018. Respondents were born between 1946 and 1964. Royal LePage says this group of 1.4 million potential buyers and sellers will have a “meaningful impact on the housing market.”
It indicates that 63 per cent of Ontarians surveyed find the province too expensive. This is much higher than the national average. Only British Columbia ranked higher at 78 per cent.
Citing places like Collingwood, Ontario, or Tremblant, Quebec, Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage, said that smaller, touristy towns are increasing in appeal due to their big-city amenities, with a “country feel.”
“Obviously it’s not a new trend to look to retire to the country, but to base it purely on the fact that it’s unaffordable to live where you are today is a new trend,” says Soper.
The surveys also shows that this is the first time in a long time that boomers find themselves in the market again. Their children — who are mostly Millennials — stayed at home longer than previous generations. So families stayed put longer than before.
In fact, 18 per cent of respondents don’t expect their children to leave home before the age of 30. Another nine per cent said don’t think their kids will leave before 35.
What’s more, half of boomers in Ontario say they would be willing to give money to their children to help them buy a home. Of those who want to help their kids with a down payment, 44 per cent would be willing to contribute up to 25 per cent of the total value of the home.
And given the expense of Toronto, much of this population indicate they’d prefer to downsize to a condo as they approach retirement.
The survey also found that across Canada, over three-quarters of boomers own a home, nearly one in five rent, and one per cent live with family.