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Trends in Real Estate Canada 2023 – the Changing Preferences of Home Buyers

Real estate is constantly evolving, influenced by many factors such as economic shifts, demographic changes, and buyer preferences. Technological advancements have irrevocably changed the landscape of Real Estate Canada. In addition, recent trends show a shift in homebuyers’ mindsets, with a significant proportion of Canadians planning to buy a home within the next five years. As more investors recognize the value of real estate as a stable investment and a place to call their own, the demand for housing is expected to continue rising.

The Canadian real estate market showed resilience in May, with home sales rising despite challenges such as higher interest rates and reduced purchasing power. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), approximately 70% of local markets experienced an upward sales trend during this period. These findings suggest that the demand for housing remains strong in several major Canadian cities, despite the prevailing economic conditions.

Sustainable living, flexible workspaces, urban revitalization, health and wellness features, connectivity, and fiscal responsibility continue to shape the preferences of home buyers in Canada. By adapting to these evolving trends, investors can maximize their returns and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Join us as we uncover market insights, highlighting key considerations for investors navigating the tricky turns of real estate in Canada.

Broad Preferences

Generally, there are particular preferences that a first-time home buyer or an investor has when looking for residential properties. Some homes tend to be more appealing based on the homebuyer’s needs.

First-time home buyers often find condos and townhouses attractive due to their lower maintenance requirements and more affordable pricing. Easy accessibility to transportation hubs and urban amenities is a strong selling point. They also appreciate built-in modern conveniences and functionality and prefer energy-efficient appliances, innovative home technology, and updated interiors.

Many professionals prefer the convenience and urban lifestyle of condos, apartments and lofts.  These homebuyers often prioritize low-maintenance homes that require minimal upkeep, allowing them to focus on their careers and personal lives. Homes with dedicated office spaces or the potential to create a work environment are desirable, enabling remote working. Proximity to work, entertainment, and dining establishments become the primary focal points for this category of homebuyers.

Families often prefer homes with spacious kitchens, multiple bathrooms, and ample storage. Backyards, play areas, quality schools, daycare centres, parks and safe neighbourhoods are vital considerations for the perfect family home. Detached homes offer more living space and privacy and are ideal for accommodating the needs of a growing family.

Trends over the Past Years

Real estate trends are shaped by various factors, including demographics, changing lifestyles, and urban amenities. Each individual or family has unique needs, budget constraints, and a specific lifestyle that influences their ideal home choice. Societal changes impact the features and amenities that individuals seek in a home. Understanding these influences is essential in identifying real estate trends and meeting the diverse needs of homebuyers.

Changing Demographics:

With the growing number of millennials and Generation Z entering the Canadian housing market, their preferences shape housing designs. These younger generations prioritize sustainability, seamless technology integration, and functional spaces to accommodate remote work setups and an ideal work-life balance.

Emphasis on Sustainable Living:

Sustainable living is the new buzzword, and increasingly, home buyers prefer energy-efficient amenities and eco-friendly materials. Features like solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and green building certifications like LEED have become sought-after amenities for Canadian home buyers.

Flexible Workspaces and Connectivity:

Adopting remote working resulted in a growing demand for homes with dedicated office spaces or flexible work areas. The first-time home buyer prioritizes homes that can accommodate their work-from-home needs, with high-speed internet connectivity and innovative home technology. Detached homes with home offices, workspaces, or multipurpose rooms have become increasingly desirable.

Urban Amenities:

Urban, walkable neighbourhoods with properties near amenities, such as restaurants, cafes, parks, and entertainment options, are in high demand; the desire for a convenient lifestyle, reduced commute times, and a vibrant community atmosphere is a decisive factor when deciding on a home purchase.

A heightened focus on health and well-being has increased demand for homes with access to outdoor recreational areas and fitness facilities such as pools or yoga studios. Integrating natural elements and maximizing natural light is also very highly prized.

Growing Fiscal Responsibility:

Canadian home buyers are increasingly displaying a desire for responsible homeownership and building equity for the future. Many buyers prioritize financial stability and long-term planning by saving for a down payment and seeking affordable mortgage options.

Regardless of changing trends and market conditions, saving remains essential to realizing your home-buying goals. Using tools such as a mortgage calculator and analyzing cash flow can provide valuable insights, and help build a substantial down payment, reduce mortgages, and secure lower interest rates. By prioritizing saving, investors can increase their chances of achieving their dream of homeownership

What do Canadian Home Buyers Want in 2023?

A recent survey shows Canadian home buyers strongly prefer single-family homes in the suburbs, despite their higher prices. With the average home price in Canada currently at $716,083, buyers must adjust their expectations. Downsizing has become increasingly common as buyers prioritize amenities and outdoor spaces over larger living areas.

Main floor bathrooms, updated kitchens, ample natural light, price, home condition, and location – these essential features are still very much in demand. However, styles and preferred amenities vary among different generations.

Older generations prefer bungalows with open floorplans, while Gen Z leans toward modern and contemporary styles. Millennials show an interest in colonial homes. Amenities preferences also differ, with Gen Z and Boomers prioritizing shopping and dining over good parks and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Price plays a significant role in home purchasing decisions, as many Canadians perceive homeownership as financially challenging. Gen Z homebuyers place less emphasis on price, focusing more on the home’s condition. A well-maintained and ready-to-move-in home is highly sought after.

Buyers are generally willing to undertake minor cosmetic upgrades, but substantial renovations or structural issues are usually a strict no-no. The location is also crucial, with factors such as neighbourhood reputation, proximity to amenities, schools, and transportation influencing purchase decisions. If an area feels unsafe, lacks cleanliness, or lacks accessible amenities, investors will stay away.

Parks and green spaces, outdoor recreation, shopping and dining options, and access to medical facilities are pretty much on every home buyer’s essentials list. The desire for outdoor activities and healthcare contribute to these preferences.

Looking Forward

The Canadian housing industry is witnessing a strong preference for single-family suburban homes among home buyers. The emphasis on amenities and outdoor spaces drives this preference. While features like natural light, price, home condition, and location remain important across generations, there are variations in style preferences and desired amenities.

Investors and homebuyers must stay informed and make well-informed decisions to navigate these evolving trends. Tools like the Save Max mortgage calculator can help plan cash flow and assess affordability. Researching the market and seeking professional advice is also essential before diving into the housing market.

Awareness of these trends and conducting thorough research allows investors to align their choices and maximize their investment in Real Estate Canada.


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