Return to work plans affect where Toronto's Gen Z will buy their first home: study

Jun 1 2022, 1:25 pm

Future housing demand in Toronto will be closely tied to an expected return to the office, a new report by Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada has found.

Titled “Location, Location, Location: Generation Z Trends Report,” the report shows that when considering where to purchase their first home, Generation Z adults in Toronto value being close to work over living near nightlife.

Forty-six percent of those surveyed said that proximity to work was a key consideration for the location of their first home, which the report’s authors said indicates a “clear anticipation of their return to the workplace or office in some capacity.”

Released on June 1, the findings are based on a survey of 1,502 Gen Z Canadians between the ages of 18 and 28 in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. The third in a multi-part series, the report focuses on the group’s priorities and criteria for the neighbourhood and location of a first home.

“Previously released results…have already revealed that young Canadians have a high level of confidence in real estate and intend on purchasing a home,” said Josh O’Neill, General Manager of Mustel Group.

“This new report uncovers insights into where they plan to buy their first home, and the factors that are driving this important life decision.”

In Toronto, neighbourhood safety was the only location characteristic deemed more important than proximity to the workplace, with 56% of respondents listing it as a priority.

Other top priorities include proximity to a grocery store (39%), transit friendliness (35%), and walkability (35%).

Toronto’s Gen Z ranked being in or close to the downtown core (16%) cycling friendliness (9%), and proximity to nightlife (3%) as some of their lowest priorities.

The survey found that the majority of Toronto’s Gen Z adults are in no hurry to give up their city lifestyle.

Thirty-seven percent plan to buy their first home in a major city, while 42% intend to do so in the suburbs outside of one. Only eight percent plan to buy their first home in a small town, while 3% would like to live in a rural area.

Forty percent hope to buy their first home here in Toronto, and 36% plan to purchase within a one-hour drive. Three percent intend to buy in another Canadian province and 1% will do so outside the country.

“Our research signals that for Generation Z, buying their first home in a neighbourhood close to their workplace will remain a top priority, regardless of whether they plan on purchasing in a major city or suburb,” said Don Kottick, President and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.

“This has significant implications for how cities and suburbs should approach planning in order to enhance the quality of life and housing for future generations.”

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