by Lino Arci
on Friday, December 14th, 2018 at 9:55pm.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing real estate agents is how to approach the next generation of homebuyers, and their uncertainty toward the housing market.
So, what does Generation Z think about home ownership? A recent RE/MAX survey found that nearly 51% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 in the Greater Vancouver Area would like to own a home in the next few years. Meanwhile, Torontonians are more inclined to continue renting or living with their parents.
Generation Z is expected to outnumber Millennials within a year and as such, this generation will have a significant impact on the housing market over the next 20 years. With the mounting cost of home ownership in Ontario and British Columbia it is no surprise that 38% of respondents expressed no desire to own a home, while 46% would like to buy in the next few years.
However, the survey also found that 67% of 18- to 24-year-olds in Ontario and British Columbia feel stressed when thinking about buying a home. In the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver Area this is higher, at 75% and 71%, respectively.
About half of the survey respondents agree that they have limited knowledge of the housing market, but are interested in learning more. This was especially apparent in each of the province’s hottest housing markets, with 57% in the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA) and 51% in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) feeling undereducated.
“Gen-Zers are interested in learning more, and a greater effort needs to be made to educate them about the benefits and potential risks of home ownership,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada. “As Gen Z looks ahead, it’s important that they have a trusted team and good resources to turn to, to alleviate stress and empower them in the process to becoming first-time homebuyers in the future. While the survey showed interesting trends across two of the hottest markets, the Gen-Zers we speak to are eager to become informed and excited about the future of home ownership.”
“While the prospects of home ownership may seem daunting, that doesn’t mean that Generation Z should give up hope,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Region. “It will be more important than ever for financial institutions and real estate professionals to educate this generation and reach them through the platforms they frequent, such as social media and online.”
Despite the anxiety felt by many Gen-Zers toward the prospect of home ownership, more education and help from the right team of professionals could dispel the fears and assist them in making a sound investment. It is expected that this generation will have a big impact on the Canadian real estate market in the next 2 decades. Gen-Zers and other young homebuyers are adapting to current market conditions by looking outside of city centres to find affordable properties. Government must also play a role in ensuring that these suburban communities are well-connected to urban centres, via developments in public transit and infrastructure.