Survey finds majority of Canadians aren’t living in their ideal home
by Sarah Carrey, Peak Communicators Ltd.
A new survey commissioned by CENTURY 21 Canada found most Canadians aren’t getting close to their ideal living situation until well into their 50s.
The survey of 1,000 Canadian adults living in eight metropolitan centres across the country found that, when asked how close their current living situation is to their ideal, 41 per cent ranked their situation as close to their ideal (8 – 10 on a 10-point scale), while 43 per cent ranked their situation moderately close to their ideal and 16 per cent far from their ideal. Once age is factored in the gulf widens considerably, with only a third of those aged 25 – 54 saying they are living in close to their ideal situation while a majority (56 percent) of those aged 55+ said they are living in close to their ideal situation. Even in the 45 – 54 age range about one in five said their living situation is far from their ideal – about the same percentage as young adults.
“While you would expect young adults may not be not living in their ideal situations as they work to establish themselves, it was striking that their satisfaction level didn’t improve significantly until people got into their 50s,” said Brian Rushton, Executive Vice-President of CENTURY 21 Canada. “It was also surprising that while two-thirds of Canadians told us a single detached home is their ideal a quarter preferred an apartment, primarily because they value a low maintenance lifestyle.”
The results also varied by region. Forty-nine per cent of those surveyed identified type of home as their top two priorities when considering purchasing a new home, while 46 per cent identified location/neighbourhood as one of their top two considerations. Other factors include condition of home, size, proximity to amenities, age of home, and proximity to transit.
“This survey tells us that when people buy a home they are buying a lifestyle. What that means varies widely with the individual, but it typically requires deciding what is most important within your budget and what compromises you’ll make to get as close to your own ideal living arrangement as possible,” Rushton said. “This is consistent with what we hear from CENTURY 21 realtors, who tell us they regularly work with clients to help them determine their top priorities in a new home and how that lines up with their lifestyle.”
Across all eight metropolitan areas, 65 per cent of Canadians identified a single detached home as their ideal, with another 24 per cent identifying an apartment as their ideal. The remaining 11 per cent preferred a semi-detached home or other arrangement (trailer, houseboat, etc.). The numbers varied by region, with only 52 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents preferring a single detached house compared to 79 per cent in Calgary and 80 per cent in Regina. Interest in single detached houses peak at ages 35 – 44, especially among those with children at home, declining afterwards. Single people and couples without children are more likely to prefer apartments.
Those who prefer a single detached home identified a private and independent lifestyle, a yard, tranquility, space, and privacy as their top reasons, while those who prefer apartments identified a hassle-free lifestyle and lower maintenance as their top reasons.
On a similar note, while 63 per cent of Canadians would like a bigger home, a significant minority (19 per cent) would like to move into a smaller home.
The online survey was conducted by the Lana Porter Group Inc. with 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ between June 15 and 25, 2018. The sample included 200 residents each in the greater metropolitan areas of Vancouver and Toronto and 100 each in the greater metropolitan areas of Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Halifax.