Canada’s young adults are fleeing the city, and the trend may be far from over. A Royal LePage survey of Canadian home buying intent of people aged 25 to 35 shows a quarter bought during the pandemic. This supports data showing young adults have been fleeing major cities, and sending rural home prices soaring. The survey also shows a lot more people plan to do the same, all facilitated by the forced adoption of work from home.
A Quarter of Canadians Aged 25 to 35 Bought A Home In The Pandemic
A quarter of Canadians between the age of 25 and 35 bought a house after the pandemic started. The survey found 25% of respondents had purchased a home after March 15, 2020, by mid-February of this year. Another 16% plan on buying in the next 12 months, and 14% between one and two years from now. The largest segment of people in this age bracket came in at 39%, who plan on buying in two to five years. The pandemic’s acceleration of adopting work from home most likely had a large role to play here.
Canadian Home Buying Intent (25 – 35)The home buying intent of Canadians aged 25 to 35, who don’t already own a home. Source: Royal LePage, Leder. Better Dwelling.
About a third said home buying is on their radar in the near future. Those who said it would take longer than five years, came in at 16% of respondents. Another 8% said they don’t plan to buy a home, and 8% weren’t sure what their plans were.
Working Remote A Top Priority For Young Adults
Remote work is a top priority for almost two-thirds of people in this age range. At the national level, 63% of people said it was either very or somewhat important to be able to work from home. Toronto is overrepresented at 72% of people who feel it’s important. Vancouver was also over represented at 68%, and Montreal followed closely at 67% of people.
How Important Is Your Employer Allowing Remote Work?The importance of employers allowing remote work for Canadians aged 25 to 35, who are employed or looking for work. Source: Royal LePage, Leder. Better Dwelling.
The number of respondents who didn’t have the ability (or desire) to work from home is substantially smaller. At the national level, just 19% of people in this age group said it wasn’t important or had jobs where they couldn’t. Toronto was underrepresented in this group, with just 15% having an issue with it. Vancouver was overrepresented, at 20% of people with an issue. Montreal was somewhere in the middle, with 16% of people having difficulty with the idea.
Half of Young Canadians Don’t Want To Live In Cities
Less than half of young Canadians want to live in cities now. The national rate of people with a desire to live in a city was only 45%. Toronto residents were a little higher, with 50% saying they wanted to live in the city. Vancouver and Montreal did much better, with 63% and 55% saying they prefer city life, respectively.
Preference of Living In The City or CountrysideWhere do Canadians aged 25 to 35 prefer to live, in the city or small town/countryside. Source: Royal LePage, Leder. Better Dwelling.
The big surprise is almost half of young adults want to live in small towns, or the countryside now. The national rate came in at 47%, a surprise considering over 80% of the country lived in cities. Toronto wasn’t far behind, with 42% of residents having preference to living away from the city.
Vancouver and Montreal both had fewer people dreaming about leaving the city. The rate of those who would prefer to live in small towns or the countryside was 26% and 36%, respectively. That seems small compared to Toronto, but it’s still almost a quarter of people not happy in the city.
The survey data helps provide a lot of context to the current buying behavior. A lot of young Canadians decided to pull the trigger on their first home during the pandemic. We already knew this was happening, since Canada’s home price and sales boom is being led by more rural areas.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the acceleration of the work from home trend. Not surprisingly, not all millennials have been able to move during the pandemic. However, there’s apparently still a lot looking to do so in the not so distant future.
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