How Baby Boomers Are Influencing Housing Trends

Posted by Call Centre on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 at 11:01am.

Baby boomers are getting older and greatly influence the housing trends here in Calgary and across Canada. The largest increase in birth numbers since 1921 took place in 1945 and 1946, which was the beginning of the baby-boom. It ended in 1964 and 1965. This means that there were approximately 20 years of increased birth amounts and these babies are now in their late 40s - 60s.

There were more than 8.2 million babies born during this time period. If you average that out it's about 412,000 births yearly. During the same time women were averaging 3.7 children each while in recent years the number has decreased to 1.7. The 2011 Census figures showed that approximately 3/10 Canadians were baby boomers.

How Baby Boomers Affect Real Estate Trends

There have been various research reports and studies done on baby boomers and how they are and will be affecting housing trends. Here are some of the common trends that have come out of this research, and they really aren't all that surprising.

Higher Demand For Smaller Homes And Condos

Many baby boomers have raised their children and are now interested in downsizing. There is also an increased demand for neighbourhoods that are easily walkable.

Lower Home Values In Suburban Areas

A lot of baby boomers purchased homes in suburban markets to raise their families. As the downsizing trend continues these homes will be put on the market, which could potentially lower the value in these areas.

Baby Boomers Are Staying Longer in Their Suburban Homes

Many baby boomers are avoiding the trend of downsizing and staying put in the suburban homes they used for raising their families. This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including:

  • Better health as they age, allowing them to stay independent and out of assisted living facilities for longer than previous generations
  • Lack of affordable smaller housing for downsizing that still fits their needs and desires
  • Shrinking pensions and retirement funds, coupled with rising living costs, that make it hard to afford a different home even after selling the current one
  • Delayed retirements that leave many baby boomers working into their 70s or even 80s which means employee health is important, allowing them to afford the upkeep on their current homes
  • Preserving space for inviting family members to visit or stay permanently, which is a major trend affecting the children of baby boomers.

Regardless of the cause, the lack of downsizing is affecting the supply of large suburban homes for growing families. New construction is one way to avoid this issue, but it can only help to a certain extent until undeveloped land prices rise to compensate.

Higher Prices In Established Communities

Higher prices may be expected in communities that have been established, which will reduce the number of opportunities available for younger homebuyers.

The Conference Board of Canada conducted a study showing that 80% of the new demand for housing by 2030 will be from seniors. These retirees will be looking for low-maintenance housing like residences for seniors or condos. This shift away from single-family homes could lower prices on the traditional single-family housing styles.

Leave a Comment