If one thing's for certain, COVID-19 has had an impact on the homeownership aspirations of Canadians while also making the housing market more competitive than ever before -- particularly for millennials.
And as the pandemic trudges into the new year, roughly half (48%) of millennials -- those aged 24 to 39 years old -- say they are happy with where they live, compared to 67% who reported that prior to the pandemic, they did not desire to purchase a new home, according to a new report from Properly -- the only service in Canada that helps homeowners to buy before they sell.
What's more, the survey revealed that millennials in Ontario are now three times more likely to desire to purchase a new home in 2021 compared to the rest of the population. Not surprisingly, millennials have their hearts set on a detached home (45%), with a backyard (57%), more square footage (44%), closer proximity to green space (34%), and a better home office (28%) -- which have all become very important selling points for homeowners amid the pandemic.
The survey results also revealed that since the pandemic began, over three times as many millennials have purchased a home (7%) compared with the rest of the adult population (2%). And, as we move into the new year, Properly says many of the millennials who say they desire a new home are actually going to act on it -- with 8% saying they plan to buy a new home in 2021, which is twice the number planned by the rest of the population (4%).
However, it's this increase in millennial demand that's now a driving factor of the current imbalance that's being witnessed in the housing market.
Anshul Ruparell, co-founder and CEO, Properly, says that people's priorities are shifting profoundly, which is "leading to a dizzying pace of change in the housing market.”
“Home is now more important than ever, and many people are suddenly dreaming of a lifestyle in which nature, space, and a home office take on greater importance — resulting in a housing market that’s more competitive than ever before," explained Ruparell.
And while it's great news that more Ontario millennials are aspiring to buy a home in the months to come, Properly says their dreams of owning a detached home will be hard to attain as the pandemic has resulted in a shortage.
According to the most recent TRREB data, since 2019, listings for detached homes in the area have decreased by 30.4%, the number of days a detached home is on the market dropped from 26 to 16 days, and detached home prices have increased by 14.8% -- indicating that while the desire among millennials to purchase a new home is strong, so are the odds they face.
As COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing down, it's safe to say that millennials that are tired of being cooped up in their downtown condos are going to continue to take advantage of the current record low interest rates and trade their high-rise views for the suburbs outside of the city.