Two Generation of buyers

Tuesday Mar 07th, 2017

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The millennials (known also as the children of baby boomers born between 1972-1992) and the post Second World War baby boomers (born 1946-1965) are making the greatest impact on the real estate industry today. “Both the boomers and the millennials want move-in ready homes,” says Century 21 Real Estate Canada president Don Lawby. His company, in conjunction with Rona, recently conducted a national home buyers preference survey that looked at the generations’ purchasing preferences and regional differences. “Time is very important to people…they want to spend time doing what they want to do and not the things have to do,” says Lawby. The survey also showed that 37 per cent of millennials planned to move within two years. “The message that it sends sellers is that if you are thinking of selling or putting your home on the market and something needs to be done, do it before you put it on the market,” Lawby says, adding it may be something as basic as painting a room. Digital images of the home showing its curb appeal are becoming more important, says Lawby. Sellers should be aware of how the home looks when presented digitally. Lawby says the company made the decision to conduct the survey to see “if it really was about location, location, location.” While the old maxim still applies, it is impacted by lifestyle choices to a greater degree than in the past, he says. There is a general shift away from long commutes and greater focus on family time and career choices by the millennials. The survey showed a short commute was important to 46 per cent of millennials and only 25 per cent of baby boomers, the demographic group that caused bedroom communities to expand around larger cities a generation ago. Baby boomers are looking to enjoy leisure time such as pursuing travel or hobbies in their move-in ready homes as they downsize. The survey found that 28 per cent of boomers wanted funds left over when buying a house, compared to 18 per cent of millennials. Many greying boomers (8.2 million according to Statistics Canada) no longer want to maintain a single-family house or empty nest.

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