Whether you refer to them as empty-nesters or baby-boomers, by 2024, one in five Canadians will be over the age of 65, and they’re desire for luxury housing will continue to shape the real estate market in the coming months and years.
Don Kottick, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, speaks to the influx, “We have long suspected there will be a lot more influence on the real estate market not only now, but in the future, from this significant group.”
According to a new report by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, 46 percent of Canadians 54 and older have considered their aging needs when purchasing a home. Over the past few years the Toronto real estate market has been booming, as older Torontonians hope to either sell their residency and move into a smaller home, or downsize but into a more luxurious property filled with all of the amenities.
Indeed, 37 percent of older Canadians are upgrading in some manner either to a bigger home, or a smaller but more luxurious property.
For developers, this trend has provided myriad opportunities to introduce new luxury residences, many of them state-of-the-art smart homes, condominiums and apartments designed and purchased by discerning homebuyers.
One of those developers is Sam Mizrahi, president and founder of Mizrahi Developments, a Toronto-based real estate development company that builds luxury residences that combine elegant architectural details with desirable locations.
“When I started building custom homes and, later, customized condominium projects,” he recalls, “I was motivated by two broad points: one, building residences that can be truly customized to meet the needs of owners and building residences that owners would be proud to call home. Second, I wanted to change the streetscapes of Toronto for the better.”
Sam Mizrahi’s Yorkville building, 133 Hazelton, is no stranger to the luxury boomers are becoming accustomed to. In fact, a two-bedroom, three-bath condominium in the building recently sold before it was even listed on the market. The condo’s upscale ambience includes high-end furnishings, which buyers were given the option of keeping for an additional cost.
“As more baby boomers are selling their family homes and opting for luxury condominiums, they are looking for the kind of amenities that they didn’t have in a stand-alone, like gyms and saunas, outdoor terraces and amazing views. They’ve raised their families, worked hard at their careers and now it’s time for them to enjoy their golden years in style, a right they have certainly earned,” says Mizrahi.
Real estate agent Tom Shearer, who has seen the influx of older buyers, explains, “They are looking to get everything they’ve always wanted or couldn’t afford when they were growing their family.”
In Toronto, which saw a significant price gain of 7 percent for luxury condos over the last year, luxury property is competing against both baby boomers and foreign buyers who are also seeking a low maintenance property to use as a secondary residence. As buyer demand for luxury properties continues to grow, builders will have no choice but to keep up by providing new luxury spots for Canadians to call home.
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