Research reveals preference for single family homes

Despite rising housing costs, eight out of ten young, urban families in Canada’s key metropolitan areas would prefer to live in a detached single family home if money was no object.  This was one of the main highlights in a recent report released by Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada on home ownership trends among modern families.

The report surveyed 1,743 young families across the metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. The sample was weighted against the latest census data on age, household income and home ownership.

“This is the first Canadian study to focus on the home buying preferences and habits of this segment of young families, with findings based on actual home ownership data rather than purchase intentions,” said Josh O’Neill, general manager of Mustel Group. “Results from the survey uncovered new data and trends within this key demographic.”

While the dream of owning a single family home is highly prevalent, data reveals that 43% of families who already own property that isn’t a single-detached home have given up on ever owning one. Another 18% have plan to buy a single family home in the city centre in the future, while 21% plan to do so outside the city centre.

The study also examined the characteristics of homes purchased by young, urban Canadian families, highlighting that more than half of the families surveyed paid less than $500,000 for their main residence, and that 66% bought property that was under 2,000 sq. ft.

And while 82% of families surveyed believed that they made some compromises in their purchase, a whopping 93% thought that they were between “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with their decision.

“Young families are much more influential in Canada’s metropolitan real estate markets than many realize,” said Brad Henderson, president and CEO at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “With 9.1 million Canadian millennials now entering the partnership, marriage and parenting stages of the family life cycle, the ranks of these ‘modern families’ are swelling.”

“Our research dispels several urban myths about the housing preferences of this group. It suggests that the wave of demand for single family home ownership will continue to rise in spite of mounting affordability challenges. Moreover, it highlights the fact that cities will continue to face significant pressure to overcome these challenges with solutions that go beyond the addition of higher density housing.”

Neil Sharman