Sellers are finding creative ways to entice home buyers. You will find anything from apartment builders using clever marketing. Sellers are offering free wine and some go the extreme of offering a lucky home buyer a Tesla! The main focus of this marketing is millennial buyers and renters. These are those people between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Or if you want to look at it another way; people born between 1980 and 2000. In Canada, that target market makes up approximately 10 million people according to a Nielsen study. This number represents approximately ¼ of the Canadian population so it is a large enough target market.
Why Target the Millenials
The Housing Market is realizing that the Millenials have different values from those of the generations before them. One example of this is the fact that Millenials have a preference for cycling and car-sharing rather than opting to own a car. They are known to be the shoppers looking for organic products, shopping locally and prefer urban lifestyles over rural ones.
An RBC study done in April 2019, shows a trend of Millenials leaving major Canadian cities for more affordable communities within provinces. Statistics show that on average 9 Millenials are moving from different provinces or countries.
The statistics show that Millenials are more immersed in the digital age and social media and are inclined to ordering things online. This generation, for the most part, is not looking forward to yard work on a weekend.
What Everybody Wants
Regardless of what era you are born in, there are some things that all potential homebuyers have in common. They want to find homes that are affordable to rent or buy. A CIBC study, published in Bloomberg News shows that 94% of individuals want to buy a home. And there is much variety of available for those who seek homes for purchase. You can find apartments, townhomes, condos duplexes and even have the opportunity to build your dream home from the ground up.
Challenges for Home Buyers
With the stress test that the federal government introduced, some are finding owning a home to be a bit more difficult. As such, one in three Canadians has put off their plans to own a home. This data can be found in a published survey found in the Financial Post.
After criticism from young voters, the federal government decided to offer the “homebuyer incentive” program. This would mean, one could have a bank mortgage, this “incentive” loan and a student loan. With approximately 35% of millennials still living with their parents, this can be a frustrating thing to consider. This causes a delay for many and their independence which further impacts their lives as they start their families later on in life and thereby produce smaller families.
In the above report, the comparison was also made with the wealth of Millenials compared to other generations in the Canadian population. The results show that millennials have more wealth, more assets but also more debt than Gen-Xers at their age. The study showed that educated Millenials make more money than their Gen-X counterparts did with 216% for Millenials, 125% for younger Gen-Xers and 80% for baby boomers.
In addition to the above, there is also a rising tax burden that very often goes overlooked. The taxation of home purchases has increased and is being increased. This has a direct correlation to the affordability of housing options overall. It also has a correlation with the costs of maintaining a home. In Vancouver, we see typical new apartments with government taxes and fees up to 26% of the cost. These fees are often embedded in the final prices of these offerings.
With all these costs to factor in, most millennials’ only choice is to rent. As per Statistics Canada homeownership rates of millennials versus baby boomers have a noticeable difference. In 1981, boomers of the same age owned homes. The statistics show that in 1981 55.5% of boomers owned homes compared to 30-year-olds today at 50.2%.
While it is harder for Millenials to purchase a home. They do want to own one. An Environics study shows that they aspire to be financially secure, own a home, have a strong family relationship and achieve in their career. These are the same aspirations of all previous generations. So at the end of the day, we are looking for the same things.