It turns out that millennials have forged their own path through life, ignoring the prognostications of “experts” who said they had them all figured out.

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In the housing industry we pay particular attention to the behavioural patterns of millennials, those in their mid-20s to late 30s now, because they are the largest population cohort in North American history; larger even than the previous mega-population, the baby boomer generation.

New data, including that from America’s NAR, has busted some myths related to millennial’s economic intentions.

Myth 1: Millennials are perennial renters who aren’t interested in homeownership

Royal LePage research found that home ownership among those aged 25 to 35 grew rapidly in the post-lockdown months of 2020, climbing to 48 per cent at the beginning of 2021. Subsequent study reveals that 92 per cent of millennials believe owning a home is a good financial investment and 68 per cent of those who are currently renting are pursuing ownership for their own families.

Further, TD Bank research shows many young adults feel an urgency to act when it comes to home ownership. Fifty-one per cent said they were willing to take part in a bidding war in order to own a home, compared to 30 per cent in the 35 to 54-years-old bracket, and only 18 per cent in the 55+ category.

Myth 2: Millennials are urban creatures who just want to live in the city

Yes, millennials embraced the excitement of city-centre, condominium living in numbers far greater than their boomer parents. Yet, while many cherish urban living, older millennials in particular are now heading to the suburbs in a pattern that looks very similar to that which previous generations adopted. They are migrating a little later in life simply because they are having children later. It is clear that millennials’ desire for the “white picket fence” lifestyle is real.

Myth 3: Millennials need parents’ money to buy a home

While many of the boomer parents of millennials intend to or have helped their kids into home ownership, many young families are doing it on their own. In fact, NAR finds that a full third of older millennials are using the proceeds from the sale of their first homes, typically smaller condos, in order to upgrade to a family-sized property; a time-tested path to fulfill the dream of owning your own home.

6 COMMENTS

  1. In fact, NAR finds that a full third of older millennials are using the proceeds from the sale of their first homes, typically smaller condos, in order to upgrade to a family-sized property

    …. um.
    How do you think they afforded that first home? Bank of Mom & Dad.
    It’s insane to think otherwise in this overpriced market. I see it daily.

    • sorry. My kids in their 30’s are homeowners (multiple homes) without a penny from mom or dad. A good education and drive is key.

  2. “Because they are the largest population cohort in North American History.”
    Perhaps currently. Not so sure historically.

  3. Thanks Phil, Short and to the point. This is an accurate report and describes my Millennial children to the tee. Only difference is some kept their first smaller properties as revenue properties.

  4. For every residential move there’s thousands of dollars put back into the economy if only in the retail sector, not unlike the automotive world where every car part supplied by supporting systems is affected when things go haywire in the automotive field.

    Systems that supply the housing sector with carpet/broadloom, replacing appliances, paint and wallpaper and not to mention drapery supplies and decor and landscape items. Condo owners who by freehold need lawnmowers (not to be facetious).

    When the real estate market crunches so does business in dozens of other sectors. Those other sectors clearly are impacted by what goes on in the builder world. Cause and effect in all provinces.

    How long are refugees housed in hotels such as various high end hotels such as the Hilton chain? at exorbitant daily rates. These are not tourists and the hospitality industry is full up with no rooms available.

    Maybe the government makes a special price deal. Food is delivered from high end restaurant service every day, providing special foods that the refugees enjoyed back home, not supplied by the hotel. Govt pays (at least $100/day. Refugees are mostly well-dressed, basics but clean.

    They deserve our help, but the oddity is that there are our own people suffering who cannot get help of any kind; particularly the young and seniors and those who are infirm, unable to drive and must pay delivery of groceries and shoppers.

    We live in a sad world, it goes without saying. And it will get worse before it gets better, but lack of housing is at the root. How can we support up to 40,000 (invited) newcomers when there’s not adequate housing? Who actually made that decision. Soon we will be a third world county?

    I am totally apolitical because it doesn’t matter who’s in power. The “system” is what it is.

    Carolyne L 🍁

  5. Phil Sopers millenial comments are excellent. As an old guard realtor I have been telling the politicians that the issue of the housing crisis is not the total number of homes available but that it is the type of homes available which is the critical component. Simplistic gov’t housing policy is to build lots of square pegs because it is easy then to try to force pound them into round holes. Similar is the dysfunctional places to grow which pushes for intensification and smaller urban units when the real shortage is suburban on ground units. Good business men know you are far better off to build what customers want not to build what they don’t. The demand for more suburban and rural is intensifying and it is this unsaturated demand combined with trillions of new printed money that is accelerating the housing prices for these.

    The solution is two fold: Firstly the government must come to a realistic policy re building new greenfield suburban developments, a policy that does not allow nimby restrictions and that allows for realistic and balanced natural heritage environmental policy. Increasing supply of detached and semi detached on ground homes by doubling the number of current build will help but the policies must increase this type of home build by 300% /year for next ten years.The second is for the federal government to realize that deficit spending and increasing nation debt by printing money is devaluating the Canadian dollar. Printing and circulating more dollars into the economy results in housing prices rising as consumers benefit by getting these dollars which they then use when buying limited numbers of homes. There are few things that truly reflect the economic laws of supply and demand affect on price as does that of the housing market.

    Unfortunately politicians are not willing to address either of these two issues in a realistic way with the result they justify the results of their ineptitude to justify more and more interference by them to resolve the problem they have been the cause of rather then fixing the underlying fundamental factors.

    Phil’s article highlights that demand for in ground suburban and rural residential units should be a governmental priority.

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