Are West Toronto Boomers Moving?
Stats for Canadian Baby Boomers show that they are the most affluent generation we have ever seen. Over 75% of this group own their own home and 64% of them do not have a mortgage, with 40% having over 50% of their own wealth tied up in Real Estate.
The biggest difference is that these Boomers are not selling their homes like in previous years and the latest trend has them choosing to often age in their current homes.
Typically the moving trend would see three phases of movement - The First phase would see buyers choosing a smaller dwelling to get into the market and convenience and cost would be at the top of their list. The Second phase would include the family choices of location, schools and safety with the Third phase of retirement and homeowners downsizing with the plan to reduce their costs and lower maintenance required.
Since the 1950’s life expectancy has increased by 35% from 68 years to 82 years of age and this alone has risen the number of boomers sitting on their real estate.
With a healthier and more active lifestyle, many boomers are also still in the work force in contract work, part-time or self-employed. Being part of a more affluent group, for the boomers that are living in a house and find property maintenance daunting, they are simply paying for snow removal and lawn care in lieu of moving.
Since Covid has affected our recent lives, working from home has become more of a norm. Boomers that are choosing to stay are often renovating their current properties that include adding potential income with in-law suites. Adult children are also living with their parents for much longer and with the boomerang affect of returning home, the pandemic has also added to this timeline of combining generations under the same roof.
Many of the boomers are living in pricier neighbourhoods that are also allowing them to assist their kids with their real estate purchases. Stats show that over 25% have become the Bank of Mom and Dad for this purpose. The stress-test for qualifying for a mortgage has increased the difficulty for many buyers to get into the market. Condo sales were up 79.8% over last year, with many of the sales coming from 1st time buyers counting on their parents help.
Some families are choosing to combine intergenerational housing when possible. This is a cultural shift that many are adapting, which can be a win-win for everyone from the youngest in the family to the older members that are reluctant to move into assisted living options. This is another trend that the pandemic has brought too light.
For the Boomers that are considering a change with their homes, downsizing has become a myth. This active and vibrant group have over 56% of them looking for a similar size or larger home. Their number one goal is less maintenance ( for more time on the Golf Course ) and room for their toys, whether it be an urban or rural move.
They’re looking at already landscaped yards, managed communities, urban condos as well as rural areas with lower prices to allow them to play with their extra proceeds from selling in a higher market. With a shift to considering smaller towns, amenities and access to good hospitals are critical.
These are certainly unprecedented times and the balance of moving has been shaken up. Boomers are sometimes competing with first time buyers for the same type of property, especially condos. With record low inventory and it taking longer to find a home, whether it be a condo, cottage or out-of-town property, many Boomers that are planning on their exit strategy, should plan far ahead for this change and not make any impetuous moves. If going to a totally unknown area, it can sometimes be prudent to consider renting for a period of time and deciding if this is really the location you’re happy with.
Other considerations when searching for a new location to move are; proximity to your family & friends, dentist, doctors, hospitals, pharmacy, place of worship, local shops, hair salons, spa, auto mechanic, fitness studios, restaurants, sports clubs and/or dog groomers.
The thought of moving can be very daunting for many people, especially after living in their home for decades. Many of the homeowners haven’t been in the real estate market for years and the paperwork and process alone can be enough to intimidate anyone. The right professionals from Realtors, downsizing companies, movers, lawyers and junk removal are some areas that will ease any stress and going forward help make the journey and next stage enjoyable and welcoming.
My team and I enjoy helping Boomers with their moving or downsizing plans and offer strategic plans that help ensure the process is seamless and stress-free. Contact us for a conversation about your next move!