Intentions to buy and sell real estate increase among Ontario’s gen Y population, research shows
Dream of a bigger home, long-term investment value drive gen Y’s purchasing decisions
More of Ontario’s younger generations are likely to buy a home in the next two years, shows new research from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). According to OREA’s Ontario Home Ownership Index, one in four (24%) generation Ys said they are likely to purchase a home in the next two years (up eight points from last year), while 18% of generation X said the same (a six-point increase from a year ago).
In terms of their preferred housing type, half of gen Y respondents said they are likely to purchase a detached house (51%), followed by ‘condo/apartment’ (28%), ‘semi-detached house’ (18%) and ‘row-house/townhouse’ (13%). Similarly, the majority of gen X respondents selected ‘detached house’ (63%) as the housing type they are most likely to buy. Semi-detached houses were the second most popular choice (26%), followed by ‘condo/apartment’ and ‘row house/townhouse’ (each at 17%).
“Based on their intentions to buy, and the kind of real estate they’re looking at, it is evident that ‘stage-of-life’ is a motivating factor for gen Y,” says Ray Ferris, president of OREA. “Also, given the strength of real estate markets lately, it is understandable that a growing number of millennials would like to own a (detached) home and why so many believe real estate is a good investment.”
‘Desire to own a home of my own’ (38%) is gen Y’s main motivator for purchasing a home in the next two years, followed by the ‘desire for a larger home’ (28%). ‘Long-term investment value’ made it in the top three for both gen Y and X, but for the latter group it was the biggest driver (35% compared to 28% for gen Y). For gen X, ‘desire to own a home of my own’ (28%) and ‘change in family situation’ (26%) made it into the list of top three reasons for buying a home.
Furthermore, a larger number of Ontario’s younger generations (X and Y) agree that real estate is a good investment – 81% of gen X and 77% of gen Y said it is a good investment, compared to 72% and 70% who said so last year. Moreover, the perception gap is narrowing between generations, as 85% of baby boomers admit to real estate being a good investment.
“This uptick in consumer confidence is likely driven by the very strong gains we’ve seen in home values in the last year,” says Ferris. “For those gen Ys and Xs who plan to sell, they will surely experience those gains themselves.”
One in four gen Ys (25%) say they are likely to sell their home in the next two years (up 15 points from one year ago), and 15% of gen X plans to do so (up eight points). In comparison, 12% of baby boomers (up only three points from the previous year) say they are likely to sell their homes within the next two years.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between May 31 and June 2, 2016, on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). For this survey, a sample of 1,006 Ontarians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontario adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
About The Ontario Home Ownership Index
The Ontario Home Ownership Index is designed to reflect Ontarians’ overall views of the residential real estate market in Ontario, and incorporates measures such as Ontarians’ perceptions of whether the market in their neighbourhood, city, and Ontario, respectively, have improved or worsened in the last year and looking ahead into the future, whether home ownership is important to them and whether it is a good investment in the long-term. The first wave of the index, conducted in the fall 2013, was set to a baseline of 100 points.
About the Ontario Real Estate Association
The Ontario Real Estate Association represents over 64,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 40 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com
 For the purposes of this study, Generation X is defined as being ‘born 1965-1980’; Generation Y, born 1981-1995.