Aging in Place Report Reveals 86% of Urban Canadian Baby Boomers/Older Adult Homeowners Want to Live in their Homes for as Long as Possible

Amongst those planning to sell and move, demand for condominiums has surpassed other housing types, according to a new report from Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA


Toronto, Ontario, March 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new report released today by Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada uncovers trends related to aging and its impact on the housing aspirations, expectations and realities of baby boomers and older adults across the country’s major metropolitan real estate markets. The report also highlights the gap between this cohort’s desire to age in place in their current homes, and their expectations and plans to sell and move to another primary home during their lifetime.

Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s  “2020 Generational Real Estate Trends Report: Aging in Place” revealed that while 86% of baby boomers/older adult homeowners in Canada’s key metropolitan areas want to live in their current home for as long as possible, 36% are likely to sell their current home and move to a new primary residence within their lifetime.

Amongst those planning to sell and move, 76% expect that they will buy a replacement primary residence, thereby reinvesting in the real estate market. 54% with plans to move to a new primary home expect to move into a condominium, surpassing the demand for other housing types.

The first in a multi-part series focused on baby boomers and older adults over the age of 54, the report is based on findings from a survey of 1,764 homeowners ages 54 years or older in Canada’s four largest Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs): Metro Vancouver, Greater Calgary, Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal.

“This is one of the first studies in Canada to focus on the housing aspirations, expectations and realities of the baby boomer generation, as well as those who are older, with findings based on homeowners already invested in the housing market,”   says Josh O’Neill, General Manager of Mustel Group. “Results from the survey reflect the latest trends within one of the country’s most influential demographic cohorts.”

Survey results also revealed that planning for aging and the impact on personal housing needs have been longstanding issues for a considerable percentage of Canadian baby boomer/older adult homeowners across the country’s four largest metropolitan areas. 46% considered their needs in aging prior to buying their current primary home. Of these, 45% considered safety as a key priority in their chosen neighbourhood, while features supporting single-level living factored the most heavily in their home selection. Condominium owners most commonly prioritized having an elevator, indoor fitness and wellness amenities and security services.

“By 2024, it is expected that one in five Canadians will be over the age of 65. This monumental shift in demographics is introducing new needs and demands relating to urban aging into Canada’s largest metropolitan real estate markets,” says Don Kottick, President and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Our research reinforces the fact that this generation will continue be a dominating influence in our country’s key markets, and that government, the real estate industry and individual homeowners will need to contend with increasing pressure to make homes, neighbourhoods and cities age-friendly for current and future generations of older people.”

Housing Planning for Aging: A Key Concern for Canada’s Baby Boomers and Older Adults
Since 2011, the first year that the baby boom generation began turning 65, the proportion of seniors in Canada has accelerated and is projected to rise rapidly as more from this significant generational cohort turn 65. By 2024, it is expected that one in five Canadians will be aged 65 and older. With these monumental demographic shifts, challenges and opportunities relating to urban aging have emerged

in Canada’s largest metropolitan real estate markets as government, developers and individual homeowners contend with the need to make homes, neighbourhoods and cities age-friendly for current and future generations of older people.

According to Mustel Group/Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s survey findings, housing-related needs that come with aging have been longstanding concerns for a considerable percentage of urban Canadian baby boomer/older adult homeowners. 46% reported that advance planning for their needs as they age influenced the purchase of their current home. Safety, transit friendliness and proximity to a grocery store were the leading priorities for ensuring an age-friendly neighbourhood, reported by 45%, 37% and 34% respectively as being amongst their top aging-related considerations when buying their home. Priority home features to accommodate aging in place included having a full bathroom on the main level, single-level housing and having a main-level bedroom or room that can be used as a bedroom, cited by 35%, 27% and 26% respectively. For condominium owners, having an elevator, indoor fitness and wellness amenities and security service were the leading priorities when planning for their needs with aging, reported as key considerations by 68%, 41% and 33% respectively.

Aging in Place: Desires vs. Expectations & Realities
Results from the Mustel Group/Sotheby’s International Realty Canada survey reveal that while the vast majority of baby boomers/older homeowners in the country’s largest metropolitan areas have a desire to live in their current home and neighbourhood for as long as possible, they are more equally divided in terms of whether they expect to sell and move to a new primary home during their lifetimes.

86% agree that they want to live in their home for as long as they can, with 59% expressing strong agreement with this sentiment. Meanwhile, 88% agree that they want to live in their current neighbourhood for as long as they can, with 61% strongly agreeing with this sentiment.

However, Mustel Group/Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s survey findings reveal that 36% of baby boomer/ older adult homeowners expect they will likely sell and move to a new home during their lifetime, with 14% expecting to move to a different city, 13% expecting to move to a different neighbourhood within their current city and 9% expecting to move to a different home within the same neighbourhood. 34% expect that they will stay in their current home and never move, while 30% are unsure.

Those who plan to sell their home and move are most likely to be motivated by the desire to downsize into a smaller home due to concerns that their existing one will be too large as they age, with 54% reporting this as a key motivation, followed by concerns about needing to maintain their current home, as well as its physical layout. Notably, 25% reported that cashing out to allow for more lifestyle expenses would be one of their key motivations, while 12% indicated selling their home to support basic post-retirement costs of living would be a key factor.

Enduring Demand for Primary Home Ownership
Mustel Group/Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s survey results indicate that today’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners are poised to remain influential real estate consumers in the coming years. 76% of those who expect that they will move from their current home plan on buying their replacement primary residence; 11% plan to rent, while 1% plan to move in with a family member.

Prospective home sellers in Vancouver and Calgary plan to buy a replacement primary residence at rates of 87% and 82% respectively, compared to rates of 78% in Toronto and 63% in Montreal.

Demand for Condominiums Surpasses Other Housing Types
The impact of Canada’s aging population on the condominium markets of the country’s major cities has been broadly reported, however, Mustel Group/Sotheby’s International Realty Canada survey results reveal new details.

According to survey results, 54% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners with plans to sell their current home and move to a different primary residence expect to move into a condominium. 29% expect to move into a single family home while 18% expect to move into an attached or duplex/triplex unit.
Condominium demand is strongest amongst those in Montreal, with 64% of those with plans to sell reporting that they are likely to move into a condo.

Condominiums are also the predominant choice amongst baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary with plans to sell their primary home, with 52%, 51% and 45% reporting that they expect their replacement home to be condominium.

Market Highlights

Vancouver
50% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Vancouver reported that considerations regarding their future needs with aging influenced the purchase of their current home. For this group, the leading neighbourhood features prioritized to support their needs in aging included buying a home with a grocery store in close proximity, reported by 45% as a top priority, transit friendliness (42%), as well as neighbourhood safety (41%). Home features prioritized to support future needs with aging included having a full bathroom on the main level (34%), having a main-level bedroom or bedroom option (33%), and single-level housing (27%). Those who own a condominium reported that having an elevator (79%), communal outdoor space (36%) and security services (29%) were key aging-related considerations when buying their current home.

Compared to their peers in Montreal and Toronto, baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Vancouver are less likely to express a desire to remain in their home or neighbourhood for as long as possible and are significantly more likely to anticipate selling their current home and purchasing a new primary residence during their lifetime. 55% of those in Vancouver strongly agree that they want to live in their current home for as long as they can, while an additional 28% “somewhat agree”; 59% agree strongly with wanting to live in their neighbourhood for as long as they can, while 27% “somewhat agree”.

These sentiments have a notable impact on this cohort’s expectations as to whether they expect to sell their current home and move. 40% of Vancouver’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners expect to sell and move to another home during their lifetime. 16% expect to move to a different neighbourhood within their current city, while 10% expect to move within their current neighbourhood. 14% expect to move to a different city entirely. The desire to avoid the need to maintain or repair their current home is the most common reason for expecting a future sale and move, cited by 48%.

87% of those who plan to move to another primary home during their lifetime plan on purchasing their next residence. In this future home, the most sought-after features to support needs that come with aging relate to single-level living, cited by 47% as a top priority. Those who specifically expect to move to a condominium are most likely to prioritize having an elevator (73%), indoor fitness or wellness facility (54%) and communal outdoor space (41%).

52% of those who plan to sell and move to a new primary home report that they will likely move into a condominium, a trend that will support local demand. 25% plan to move to a single family home, while 24% plan to move to an attached home or duplex/triplex unit.

Calgary
Calgary’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners are likely to have considered their future needs with aging when purchasing their current home: 49% indicated that these considerations influenced their home purchase. While safety was the leading neighbourhood feature prioritized to specifically support their needs in aging with 46% reporting it as a top priority, car friendliness emerged as a unique priority for Calgary, with 36% reporting it as a key consideration. 31% indicated that proximity to a grocery store was
a key, aging-related factor in their home purchase. Home features prioritized to support future needs with aging include having a full bathroom and bedroom on the main level, reported by 42% and 37% respectively. Meanwhile, those who own a condominium reported that having an elevator (66%), communal outdoor spaces (50%) and indoor fitness and wellness facilities (35%) were key aging-related considerations for their current primary residence.

53% strongly agree that they want to live in their current home for as long as they can, while an additional 30% “somewhat agree”; 54% agree strongly with wanting to live in their neighbourhood for as long as they can, while 32% “somewhat agree” with this sentiment.

At the same time, 43% of Calgary’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners expect to sell and move to another primary home during their lifetime. They expect to move within the same city to a different neighbourhood, at a rate of 20%, while 9% expect to move within their current neighbourhood. 14% expect to move to a different city entirely. The most common motivation for wanting to sell and move is concern about the large size of their current home as they age, reported by 63%.

82% of those who plan to sell and move from their current home plan to purchase their replacement residence, suggesting that they will remain active and influential real estate consumers in upcoming years. As in the case of all other regions surveyed, the leading future home feature sought after to support aging-related needs is single- level leaving, cited by 60% in Calgary. Priorities for those who expect to move to a condominium include having an elevator (68%), indoor fitness or wellness facility (59%), and to a lesser extent, having communal outdoor space (34%).

Condominiums are the predominant choice for baby boomer/older adult homeowners with plans to move: 45% report that they will likely move into a condominium. 33% expect to move into a single family home while 23% report they are likely to move into an attached home or duplex/triplex unit.

Toronto
46% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Toronto considered their future needs with aging when purchasing their current home. As in the case of every metropolitan area surveyed, safety was the leading neighbourhood feature prioritized to specifically support these needs, with 43% reporting it as a top priority when buying their current home. Transit friendliness followed as a leading priority for the region, with 41% reporting it as a key consideration, while 34% indicated that proximity to family was a key aging-related consideration for their home purchase. When purchasing their current home, features prioritized to support potential needs with aging included having a full bathroom on the main level (31%), single-level living (27%) and having a security system (24%). Condominium owners reported having an elevator (65%) and indoor fitness and wellness facilities (64%) as key aging-related priorities. Those in Toronto were more likely than those in other metropolitan areas to report that having a concierge or doorman was a priority, at a rate of 45%.

60% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Toronto strongly agree that they want to live in their current home for as long as they can, and an additional 26% “somewhat agree”. 60% also agree strongly with wanting to live in their neighbourhood for as long as they can, while 28% “somewhat agree” with this sentiment.

Meanwhile, 33% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners expect to sell and move to another primary home during their lifetime, the lowest rate of the metropolitan areas surveyed. 14% expect to move to a different city. 10% report that they are likely to move to a different neighbourhood within their current city; 8% expect to move within their current neighbourhood. For those in Toronto, concerns that the home will be too large as they age is the most common motivation for wanting to sell and move, reported by 52%.

78% of those in Toronto who expect to sell and move from their current home plan to buy their replacement residence, suggesting active demand from this cohort in the coming years. To support aging-related needs, single-level living is the top priority for their future home, reported by 53%. For those who expect to move to a condominium, top priorities include having an elevator (66%), indoor fitness or wellness facility (54%) and having communal outdoor space (45%).

51% of those with plans to move are likely to move into a condominium. 34% expect to move into a single family home while 16% report they will likely move into an attached home or duplex/ triplex unit.

Montreal
Baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Montreal reported that planning for their future needs with aging influenced the purchase of their current home at a rate of 42%. For those who took this into consideration, the key neighbourhood features prioritized to specifically support their needs in aging included safety, reported by 49% as a top priority, proximity to a grocery store (36%) and transit friendliness (33%). Property features prioritized to support future needs with aging include having a full bathroom on the main level (37%), single-level housing (28%) and having a multi-level home with as few stairs as possible (24%). Condominium owners prioritized having an having an elevator (67%), followed by having security services (28%). Both communal outdoor spaces and indoor fitness facilities were also priorities for condominium owners, prioritized by 24% respectively.

63% of baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Montreal strongly agree that they want to live in their current home for as long as possible and an additional 26% “somewhat agree”, while 66% agree strongly with wanting to live in their neighbourhood for as long as they can. An additional 24% “somewhat agree” to this sentiment.

This implicit desire to age in place has a notable impact on this cohort’s expectations as to whether they expect to sell and move from their current home. 35% of Montreal’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners expect to sell and move to another home during their lifetime. 14% expect to move to a different city, however, 12% expect to move to a different neighbourhood in their current city and
9% expect to move within their current neighbourhood. Concern about their current home’s size is the leading motivation for a future move, reported by 58%.

Montreal’s baby boomer/older adult homeowners are the least likely of the metropolitan areas surveyed to have plans to buy a replacement home if they expect to sell and move. 63% of those with plans to move to another primary home during their lifetime plan to buy their next residence. Those in Montreal are also more likely to report plans to rent their next primary home, at a rate of 21%.


To support aging-related needs, their leading priorities for a future home relate to single-level living, cited by 42% as a top priority. Those who specifically expect to move to a condominium are most likely to prioritize having an elevator (77%), indoor fitness or wellness facility (62%) and security services (42%).

Future demand for condominiums is strongest amongst baby boomer/older adult homeowners in Montreal. 64% of those who plan to sell their current home report that they are likely to move into a condominium, a trend that supports healthy demand for condominiums within the region. 22% expect to move into a single family home and 14% expect to move into an attached home or duplex/triplex unit.

The report is based on findings from a survey of 1,764 homeowners ages 54 years or older in the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), using a disproportionate sampling method to enable analysis within each metropolitan area, as well as across the combined CMAs. The sample was weighted to match Statistics Canada census data on the basis of age, household income and home ownership within each CMA and to bring the total sample into proper proportion based on relative populations. While the panel sample is demographically representative, margins of error only apply to random probability samples. (The margin of error on a random probability sample of 1,764 respondents is ±2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, and ranges from ± 4.38 to 4.9 points for 400-500 respondents). Data for this report series was gathered from August 7–16, 2019.

About Mustel Group
Mustel Group has been a leading market research and public opinion research firm in Canada for more than 30 years, trusted by a wide range of the country’s most esteemed public and private sector institutions to design and conduct qualitative research, quantitative research and omnibus surveys in order to understand the thoughts and motivations underlying people's’ emotions, opinions and
behaviours. For further information, visit https://mustelgroup.com/.

About Sotheby's International Realty Canada
Combining the world's most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby's International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country's most exceptional properties. With offices in over 32 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivalled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 1,000 offices in 71 countries and territories to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world. For further information, visit www.sothebysrealty.ca.

Disclaimer
The information contained in this report references survey results, plus market data from MLS boards across Canada. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada cautions that MLS market data can be useful in establishing trends over time but does not indicate actual prices in widely divergent neighborhoods or account for price differentials within local markets. This report is published for general information only and not to be relied upon in any way. Although high standards have been used in the preparation of the information and analysis presented in this report, no responsibility or liability whatsoever can be accepted by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, or Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates or Mustel Group for any loss or damage resultant from any use of, reliance on or reference to the contents of this document.


        

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