Baby boomers will impact real estate market

Desire to downsize for empty nesters and home owners nearing retirement will shape real estate market.

Over the past several years, Canada’s real estate market has experienced a coast-to-coast cool down of sales activity and a correction in housing prices.

But what has yet to be brought into the equation for the future housing forecast is the effect that baby boomers will have on the market.

The baby boomer generation refers to the estimated 10 million people who were born between the years of 1946 and 1964.

It has been reported today that there are about six million baby boomers between the ages of 48 and 66 years that live in Canada, and that by 2036, that number will be in the vicinity of 25 per cent of Canada’s population.

It is not unusual to find that most homeowners nearing retirement begin to think about downsizing from a single-family property to something more suitable to their needs.

And for empty nesters, perhaps their two-storey family home has become too large or having less yard work has become a greater desire.

Perhaps this demographic scenario will create more sales activity in a currently saturated condominium market, as condos will become more popular for baby boomer generation buyers. It has been forecasted that by 2030, the condo market will increase to 68 per cent of Canada’s real estate market.

That should come as no surprise given that currently about 2.5 million property homeowners are over the age of 60.

This should have an incredible impact on the housing market as more sale signs start to pop-up as retirement approaches, and homeowners begin liquidating their house asset to downsize to condos or other smaller properties.

But so far, the real effect of that market trend has yet to be felt, but whether baby boomers in the future decide to downsize to condo living or simply decide to stay, their decisions will inevitably have a tremendous impact on our economy.

Ceinwen Morgan has worked in the Kelowna real estate industry for the past five years.

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