The normalization of remote work was beginning to pick up steam in the years leading up to 2020, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has gained more widespread acceptance across many industries. As such, the trend of young Canadians choosing to live further outside of major urban centres has intensified.
Earlier this year, Royal LePage conducted a survey of Canadians aged 25 to 35, in an effort to better understand their desires, challenges and behaviours when it comes to real estate and home ownership. Nearly two thirds (63%) of those surveyed who are employed or seeking employment, said that the ability to work for an organization that allows the option of remote work is important to them. This is not at all surprising, given the high volume of sales and growing demand in regions outside of Canada’s city centres over the last year.
In fact, 39% of this age group said they are considering a move from their current home to a less dense area, as a result of the pandemic. It stands to reason that, given that moving is typically not something one does with great frequency, these respondents plan (or perhaps hope) to continue working remotely post-pandemic at least some of the time, if not all. More than half (51%) said the ability to purchase a larger home was an important factor in their consideration, while even more said lower home prices (61%) and access to more outdoor space (62%) were motivating forces.
Home prices across the country have been steadily increasing at unprecedented rates over the past year, driven by strong demand and a severe lack of supply. Much of that demand is coming from young buyers and first-time homebuyers who have been able to save more over the last year, and are looking to take advantage of low borrowing costs. And, they are not limiting their searches to small condominium units or apartments in the city centre. Instead, they are expanding their search parameters to include suburban and rural neighbourhoods where they can get more square footage and outdoor space within their budget.
The study found that 68% of Canadians aged 25 to 35 who are not currently homeowners plan to purchase a property within the next five years.
For more insights into the homebuying trends of Canadians aged 25 to 35, and to see the data chart, visit rlp.ca/2021demographicsurvey.