Home Buyers Survey

Contrary to Stereotypes, Millennials Are All Business, Boomers Are Social Butterflies When Home Buying

Canadians Want to Have Their Home, and Lifestyle Too

(VANCOUVER, BC) Oct 8, 2013:  The adage “location, location, location” may need a rephrase according to the results of the CENTURY 21 Canada and RONA National Home Buyer Preferences Survey (conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights). Canadians rank buying a home in which sellers have already done the renovations, and is thus move-in ready, as their number one home buying priority (25%), while location (23%) and having funds left over for personal expenses (23%) are also top considerations.

Buying a move-in ready home is such a high priority that Canadians are willing to sacrifice being able to afford a car, having a shorter commute, or living in a location with a community culture that fits them to have it.

“Canadians are united in wanting move-in ready homes, which is valuable information for those planning to sell,” said Don Lawby, President of Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership. “Now ‘prime location’ isn’t just defined by convenience, as lifestyle considerations are equally important in a neighbourhood.”

What makes the Canadian dream home? Well, it depends if you ask a boomer or millennial.

Millennials are all business when home buying:

Millennials position themselves to succeed

  • Millennials are twice as likely as Boomers (Millennials 33%, Baby Boomers 17%) to rank location as their top home buying priority, with young professionals especially focused on this factor.
  • Millennials place higher importance on having a shorter commute than other generations (Millennials 46%, Baby Boomers 26%) when asked what they look for in a home location.

Millennials like to be mobile

  • Millennials are movers, as 37% are likely to move within the next two years.

Millennials want homes with personality

  • Millennials are more likely to consider the character of the home and curb appeal (19% combined) as important home features than older generations (Baby Boomers 7% combined).

Boomers are social butterflies, who use their home as a base:

Boomers have fun on their minds

  • Boomers are more concerned about having left over funds post home purchase (Baby Boomers 26%, Millennials 18%), which they spend more often on travel, personalizing their homes, and socializing.
  • Boomers rank having social activities nearby in their top home location priorities (ranked as one of their top three location priorities: Baby Boomers 77%, Millennials 52%).

Boomers view their community as a second home

  • Boomers place a higher emphasis on a sense of belonging in the community they purchase in (Baby Boomers 15%, Millennials 10%).
  • Boomers are more interested in purchasing in a neighbourhood that has a strong community culture that fits them (Baby Boomers 19%, Millennials 10%).
  • Boomers place higher priority on having access to services and amenities near their home (Baby Boomers 45%, Millennials 21%).

Boomers want a practical home

  • Boomers rank having a move-in ready home as their number one priority with less concern for the location itself, ranking it only fourth on their list. Empty nesters and early retirees are especially focused on buying a home that’s move-in ready.

“Buyers want a finished home. So, if you’re planning to sell, now is the time to renovate. Experts in our stores across the country are available to help with all kinds of projects,” said Valérie Lamarre, spokesperson for RONA.

Each Canadian province has its own home buying style:

  • The Atlantic provinces are practical home buyers, valuing location and having funds remaining for personal expenses.
  • Quebec home buyers want convenience for their commute and a move-in ready home.
  • Ontario home buyers desire character homes, and move more often.
  • The Prairies prioritize their social lives when home buying.
  • Albertans are family-focused home buyers.
  • British Columbian home buyers want a convenient location and to own a piece of the great outdoors.

Home sellers get ready, Canadians are planning to move soon with half surveyed (49%) planning to move in the next five years, including one-in-four within the next two years (23%).

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership and RONA pursued this study to gain a deeper understanding of what Canadian home buyers desire, and to provide useful advice to home sellers. 

Click to view full size infographic.

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Media contact:
Ashley Lockyer
Communications at Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership
(604) 606-2164


About Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership

Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership (century21.ca) is a real estate franchisor with exclusive rights to the CENTURY 21 Brand in Canada. With approximately 7,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices worldwide, the CENTURY 21 System is the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, providing comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing support for its members in 73 countries and territories worldwide. As an exclusive Sponsor in the real estate category of the AIR MILES® Reward Program, only the CENTURY 21 organization in Canada can offer customers reward miles on real estate transactions.  

®/™ trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized sub-license. ©2012 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership.


About RONA

RONA is a Canadian distributor and a retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. The Corporation operates a network of close to 800 corporate, franchise and affiliate retail stores of various sizes and formats under different banners, and a network of 14 hardware and construction materials distribution centres. With close to 28,000 employees, the RONA store network generates consolidated sales of $4.9 billion. For more information, visit rona.ca.


The Mortgage Rate Rise: What Is the Impact?

Mortgage rate rise condos

In August to September of 2013, Canadian banks started to increase their five year fixed mortgage rate. The popular five year closed fixed rate was increased by all of the major banks.

Rates are still ridiculously low by historic standards, but quite a bit higher than rates were even last year, when under 3.00% was possible for a five year fixed mortgage. Lower rates are possible with other lenders on a case-by-case basis.

Why have rates increased?

The five year closed fixed mortgage rate is a closely watched metric, and is controlled to a large degree by the bond markets. The rate is priced relative to the yield on a five year Canadian bond. That yield has been increasing as of late, which has caused the banks to adjust their five year mortgage rate upwards.

The primary reason for the increase in bond yields is because the American economy is improving and growing again. This causes many to feel that our GDP may increase, stoking inflation fears. Increased inflation expectations  cause bond buyers to demand higher yields on bond investments. Other factors include our weakening Canadian dollar and a cyclical shift from bonds into stocks globally.

What is the likely impact of a rate increase?

If recent history is any guide, the increase in rates will be short lived – in the sense that the rates have been adjusted up and are likely to stay at their new level throughout the winter. The uptick in rates has caused a boost in the Toronto real estate market, with condos sales and prices showing improvement along with the already strong low-rise home market. This is inevitable, as home buyers who were pre-approved at the lower rates rush to find homes and close deals with home sellers before their pre-approval expires or is adjusted upwards.

Once this temporary demand boost is satiated, it’s likely that the market will slow over the winter months.

If the global economy does not provide any large surprise, it is likely that rates will come down in the spring – or at least the discounted rates offered by banks will fall. Banks will want to boost lending and spur the market during the spring months, so incentives are more than likely during this period.

The Key to Profitable Home Ownership

Rent or buy house


Real estate has always been considered a long-term investment that appreciates in value. When money is lost in the real estate market, it’s usually due to selling a property too quickly and not allowing the property value to increase enough. Real estate markets rise and bottom out in a cyclic fashion, so before a home is re-sold, current market conditions must be taken into account.

The key to profitable home ownership lies in a few simple principles: planning, budgeting and saving. If you can stick to these principles, you’ll win big by owning rather than renting:

  • You plan to stay in your home for three or more years. In most markets, it can take 3-6 years for a home to appreciate enough to offset the costs of selling and moving.

  • You’re psychologically prepared. Home ownership means dealing with whatever comes up — from noisy neighbors to a malfunctioning A/C. You can’t just call the landlord for help or pack up and move as easily as when you were renting.

  • You have some extra savings. Home buyers who spend every dime they have buying a house inevitably are blindsided by repairs, maintenance and all other costs of owning a home. Then they go into debt trying to keep up their current lifestyle. Smart home buyers make sure they have an amount in savings equal to at least two mortgage payments after the deal closes, and preferably much more.

  • You manage your money well. Paying a monthly mortgage and separate bills creates a forced savings habit. If you’re the kind of person who lives on credit cards and doesn’t know where the money goes, you’d be smart to clean up your financial act long before you go hunting for a house.

Overall, it is far better to own your own home than to rent. Not only for the pride of ownership, but also to build up your assets for future financial security.

Winterizing Windows and Doors

winter home winterize


As temperatures are beginning to drop, heating bills may be on the rise as this chilly season approaches. Here are some tips on winterizing the windows and doors of your home to lower your heating bills, promote regular maintenance, and get your home ready for winter.

It’s important to inspect all of your windows and evaluate if they need replacing or maintenance. As windows get older they may crack or the seal around the window might begin to deteriorate.

Check for drafts by holding a lit candle close to the windows in your home and watch to see if the flame flickers. Flickering may indicate a draft. If cold air can enter your home then it’s likely that hot air can escape. When windows and/or doors are drafty, your furnace works harder to heat the space in your home.

Just like windows, doors can also be the culprit for cold air leaking into your home and warm air leaking out this winter season. They should first be checked and, if there are any cracks, sealed with caulking, wood fill or, if necessary, weather stripping. When caulking any exterior doors or windows, be sure to use weather resistant caulking for best results.

When you are checking doors, don’t forget the garage door. Your garage door is the largest entry and exit point in your home. A great tip for garage doors is to adhere foam panels to the inside of the door affixed with double-sided tape. This will act to protect and insulate.

These simple tips can help decrease your heating bills this winter.