As Accredited Senior Agents, we have the daily experience of working with many Mature and Senior clients. That demographic is changing as is their effect on housing. A recent Globe article stated that the oldest of the baby boom generation just entered retirement age this year, but by 2036, seniors will represent about one quarter of the total population in Canada, which will mean more older households and more of those headed by single seniors: they will likely demand a different kind of residence from the two-story detached home they raised families in.
CMHC reported that the starts for condo buildings in major urban centres were up 33% in 2010 and prior to that, 29% in 2009. “Aging households will support continued growth in condominium markets” they added. As well though, we can also expect to see growing demand for home adaptations from Seniors who may want to stay in their current homes as long as possible…which could give yet another shot in the arm to the renovation market. Ian Melzer, of the CMHC’s Housing Needs Policy group also stated: Typically, young seniors are not living in accessible bungalows, so there will be renovations … installation of ramps or elevators, widening of the front door, bathroom doors. You might get replacement of bathtubs,” he explained.
For those who are definitely looking for a change fron their exising home, we have also seen explosive growth in Mature Lifestyle companies (such as Amica) who offer various levels of assisted living for all age ranges of seniors, with the ability to purchase their unit like a regular condominium, rather than the monthly rental arrangement which had been more traditional in the past. These developments have given younger more active seniors a viable option for a move from their family home.
While Canada’s birth rate remains below its replacement rate, the population is increasing faster than at any time since the early 1990s thanks to immigration. Last year, new arrivals swelled to 271,000, the highest in four decades, accounting for two thirds of population growth. Most continue to move to Canada’s three biggest cities – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
These factors combined will result in Canada’s housing market continuing to grow, but likely at a slower pace than the recent boom years.