Don’t expect to pick up many listings from baby boomers in the next few years – a new report from Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada says 86 per cent of baby boomers/older adult homeowners in Canada’s metropolitan areas want to live in their current home for as long as possible. However, 36 per cent say they are likely to sell their current home and move to a new primary residence within their lifetime.

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Amongst those planning to sell and move, 76 per cent expect that they will buy a replacement primary residence. Fifty-four per cent plan to move into a condominium.

The report is based on findings from a survey of 1,764 homeowners ages 54 years or older in Metro Vancouver, Greater Calgary, Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal.

“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.”

Safety, transit friendliness and proximity to a grocery store were the leading priorities for ensuring an age-friendly neighbourhood, says the survey. 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.

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, the survey says.

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, says the survey, with 54 per cent reporting this as a key motivation, followed by concerns about needing to maintain their current home, as well as its physical layout. It says 25 per cent reported that cashing out to allow for more lifestyle expenses would be one of their key motivations, while 12 per cent indicated selling their home to support basic post-retirement costs of living would be a key factor.


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