Real Estate News

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 ( 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