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An open house sign in Toronto. (JENNIFER ROBERTS For The Globe and Mail)
An open house sign in Toronto. (JENNIFER ROBERTS For The Globe and Mail)

Nearly half of baby boomers don’t plan to downsize: report Add to ...

The suburban dream is alive and well.

Close to half of baby boomers – 43.5 per cent – planning to move to another primary residence said in a recent survey they’re seeking a home that is just as big or bigger than their current property.

That goes against the perception that the boomer generation would create an oversupply of single-family homes as they move into smaller residences, says a new Royal LePage Real Estate survey.

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The poll also indicates that more than half of Generation Y members – 55.7 per cent – planning to buy their next abode have their eye on the suburbs, compared to 21.7 per cent targeting the downtown core.

“Baby boomers are the wealthiest generation in Canadian history. They live in large homes with ample space for their many possessions. They love their garages and their yards,” Phil Soper, chief executive officer of Royal LePage Real Estate, said in a news release Tuesday.

“The study clearly indicates that contrary to popular belief, most boomers do not intend to downsize anytime soon.”

According to the Royal LePage, 78 per cent of baby boomers currently own their own homes. In the survey, 40.6 per cent of boomers said they have plans to move.

A major factor in the desire to continue living in large, suburban homes is the fact that offspring are increasingly staying at home well into adulthood, according to the study.

The survey says a quarter of Generation Y lives rent-free in arrangements with family or friends. In the Prairies, that climbs to 33.4 per cent, in Quebec to 29.7 per cent and in Ontario to 27.2 per cent in Ontario.

“The adult children of baby boomers aren’t going anywhere fast. Good jobs have proven more difficult for them to find, they’re extending their studies and they’re living at home. It is no wonder the concept of swapping a family-sized home for a small retreat has lost its luster,” said Soper.

The online poll by Leger Marketing used the firm’s online panel, LegerWeb; it was conducted between Sept. 13 and Sept. 21, 2012, with a sample of 1,013 Canadians born between the years 1980 and 1994 (Generation Y) and 1,011 born between the years 1947 and 1966 (boomers). A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 3.08 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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