Alberta boomers consider downsizing

Desired lifestyle plays a big role in homebuying decisions, and our desired lifestyle tends to shift as we get older. The Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey, released in August, seems to support that premise: It found that 17 per cent of Canadian Baby Boomers (born between 1946 to 1964) plan to purchase a new home in the next five years.

“Baby Boomers will impact Canada’s housing market in a big way in the coming years,” says Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Another 1.4 million of this large demographic are expected to sell and buy real estate between now and 2023.”

Albertans may downsize

According to the research, conducted by Leger for Royal LePage, 19 per cent of Boomers in Alberta plan to buy a new home in the next five years. More than half (58 per cent) would prefer to improve their current home than move; however, as their children leave home and retirement approaches, Albertans are willing to downsize.

Of those who responded, 44 per cent said they plan to move into a smaller home in their golden years. Almost one-third (31 per cent) said they would consider downsizing when their children leave home, which is tied with Ontario for the highest rate in the country.

Fifty per cent of Albertans who have children currently living at home expect their children to move out for good by the time they turn 25 years old. And 45 per cent of Albertans looking to downsize would consider a condominium for their next purchase.

“Boomers in Alberta vary between those who are quite affluent and those who are still working as a means of supporting themselves,” says John Hripko, agent, Royal LePage Benchmark. “Many of them are staying in their jobs longer than we previously expected. Boomers with a financial surplus are choosing to stay in their larger homes for longer, but they’re also increasingly deciding to help their children put a down payment on their first homes.”

Albertans value homeownership

Albertans overwhelmingly say homeownership is a good investment (94 per cent), which explains why four-fifths (80 per cent) of Boomers in the province own their current residence.

Half of Boomers in Alberta (50 per cent) stated that they would give money to their children to subsidize a down payment, which is tied with Saskatchewan and Manitoba as the highest rate of all regions surveyed.

Of those Boomers who are willing to help with a down payment, three-quarters (74 per cent) said they would give less than 25 per cent of the total value of the house.

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