The first wave of Millennials – the offspring of the baby boomer generation – are now moving into their prime home-buying years, and are finding a drastically different market than their parents encountered.
Canadians born between 1980 and 1995 now represent a full 77 percent of first-time homebuyers. Affordability, especially in the large urban centers that offer the best opportunities for employment, is a huge factor influencing housing expectations. For example, the notion of having a house with a large backyard and a white picket fence may take a back seat to finding a more affordable space within the parameters Millennials covet: a “walkable” neighborhood, close to shopping and restaurants and within a commutable distance to work.
With rental costs skyrocketing, Millennials are recognizing the logic of fixed monthly payments and the long-term financial stability homeownership can provide. Adding this new buyer pool to the market will certainly invigorate the real estate environment that currently includes GenXers, who are typically already homeowners in their prime earning years and therefore in the position to upsize, and baby boomers, who are generally seeking to downsize and simplify their housing. These two groups currently boost the market as both sellers and buyers.
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