Selling, building or renting real estate to Millennials in British Columbia? Check out these location preferences and amenities driving B.C.’s first-time buyers, according to our Future of B.C. Housing Report.
By Chris Fair
If there was one big takeaway from our survey of B.C. Millennials in our Future of B.C. Housing Report, it’s that 70% are planning to move in the next five years.
That’s a massive sector of the population looking to buy or rent a new place to live between now and 2022.
But what will the millennial population prioritize when they embark on their search?
First off, they will be looking to own. Despite an overwhelming sentiment that their city or town is becoming less affordable by the day, Millennials are planning to fight for property ownership,
with 76% of renters stating that it’s important on a personal level to become a homeowner—the highest sentiment in this regard out of all the demographics.
Additionally, 61% of Millennials would like to purchase a single-family home one day, compared to 36% preferring townhouses and 27% apartments or condominiums.
ARE SUBURBS COOL NOW?
When it comes to the housing context preferred by the B.C. Millennial, a downtown location near the action carries the same cachet as a sleepy suburban house (41% and 40%, respectively). This insight surprised us, given the cliche that a younger buyer needs the velocity and convenience of an urban centre.
Cost of a downtown location in an expensive province could have been a factor in this suburban preference—a kind of presumptive sacrifice in the quest for affordability. In line with the B.C.-wide response, Millennials consider the cost of housing as the most important factor when seeking a new home (83% of all respondents).
Proximity to work (63%) and access to public transit (55%) are also vital home location factors among Millennials looking for a new home—even more important than overall square footage and size of the living space.
SIZE AND AMENITIES PREFERRED BY B.C. MILLENNIALS
Millennial respondents would consider living in an average minimum home size of 1,120 sq. ft., with a minimum of one bedroom and one bathroom with shower. Their preference is for an open gourmet kitchen. The ability to have pets should they choose toe was also very important.
Outdoor space of some kind was cited as important by half of the Millennial respondents—a lot lower than Gen-X (71%) and Boomers (69%). Also notable is the fact that Millennials don’t feel the reputation of the developer or building manager is all that important (35%) compared to Gen-X (48%) and Boomers (54%).