How changing demographics will shake up the Canadian real estate market

As Baby Boomers age, their kids are poised to become a demographic juggernaut that will shake up the Canadian housing market. The CMHC’s latest edition of the Canadian Housing Observer pegs the Echo Generation, those born between 1972 to 1992 to Boomer parents, as a major force.

It’s believed that this generation — who we’ve called Echo Boomers and traced obsessively – will be the main source of homeowner and rental growth until the 2020s. The medium household growth projection puts the group as the single biggest source of household growth from 2006 to 2021.

Another big trend? Living solo. A consequence of the aging population and the growing tendency of Canadians to live on their own, one-person households are expected to show the fastest pace of growth all the way to 2036, making it the single biggest type of household by the 2020s. By the end of the projection period, they should account for 30 per cent of all households.

Senior-led households made up 16 per cent of all households in 1976, a number that rose to 21 per cent in 2006. As Boomers and their offspring age, it’s expected these numbers will swell by about 3.5 million, raising their share of total households to about 34 per cent by 2036.

Women are also expected to continue outliving men, contributing to more one person households. Which makes us wonder what effect this will have on the nation’s condo market. As we reported earlier, 29 per cent of current condo owners are 65 plus, and about 45 per cent of owner-occupied units were households made up of one person. Plus, in 2011, women made up 65 per cent of condo owner-occupants who lived alone, including 76 per cent of owners who were 55 and older.

By Monika Warzecha