James Newcomb, 83, stayed in his spacious home in Georgetown, Ont., for as long as he could.
A retired pilot and his wife purchased the four-bedroom home in 1982 after moving from another home in the same subdivision. After their three children left home, they lived as empty nesters for years, but last year their wife’s health deteriorated and they had to move into a nursing home.
“The bedroom was on the top floor of the house and she couldn’t stand the stairs,” Newcombe said.
The local property they wanted didn’t have room for the two of them, so they ended up leaving their friends and longtime community for Dundas, Ontario, a small town within the boundaries of Hamilton, about 60 kilometers south of Georgetown. I decided to emigrate. .
“It’s a little hard to walk away from that,” he said. “I would have stayed home if I could,” she said, noting that many of her friends were still at home.
Mr Newcombe’s desire to remain in his parents’ home for as long as possible is increasingly natural, and the age at which older homeowners can sell is rising.According to a report released in November by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the sales rate for each five-year age group for people 75 and older is It has been on a downward trend since the early 1990s, increasing pressure on the housing market.
reportThe paper, titled Understanding the Impact of Older Households on Canada’s Housing Market, says sales rates for that age group have declined by about six percentage points over the past 30 years.
The report says seniors are now less likely to sell their homes before age 85, and the demographic changes needed to free up significant housing stock will not occur for several years. I pointed out that it would not. “According to Statistics Canada’s demographic projections, population growth in the 85 and older age group will be even higher from around 2030 to 2040.”
CMHC economist Francis Cortellino, who wrote most of the report, said that while “better health and wealth” are some of the reasons people are staying at home longer, so is a lack of choice. Stated. He said even people who want to downsize are often deterred by the lack of housing types in their communities, and they stay in their homes to stay close to friends.
“Solutions aimed at increasing supply from existing units (such as creating secondary suites or laneway houses) may increasingly be considered,” the report said.
Cortellino said in many of Canada’s largest cities, older adults living alone and couples over 75 are more likely than younger families to live in single-family homes with three or more bedrooms. (A Globe and Mail analysis of 2021 census data found that the proportion of singles and couples living in homes with three or more bedrooms increased from 26 percent in 2006 to 29 percent this year. .)
He says many people are instead “downsizing from the inside out”, meaning they only use a small part of their home, often the ground floor, and cut off or limit heating in the rest of the house. He said that he has found anecdotally that this is the case.
Several other reports have confirmed some of his findings.real estate and mortgage companies Redfin published a report In January, it was found that in the United States, “empty nest baby boomers own 28 percent of the nation’s large homes.” [with three or more bedrooms]Meanwhile, only 14% of millennials with children own one. ”
Due to rising house prices, buying and selling a house has become very expensive.
An increasing number of elderly people are unable to downsize and live in large homes with empty bedrooms.
a September papers Older people are most likely to leave their homes and enter nursing homes only when access to home care and other services becomes difficult, according to researchers from the University of Waterloo and McMaster University. . and, Deloitte report A 2022 study found that “91 per cent of older adults in Ontario want to stay at home for as long as possible.”
Real estate economist Diana Petramala writes: Report on this issue In 2018, “those waiting for baby boomers to downsize may be holding their breath for a while.” The report notes that although Millennials now outnumber Boomers, Boomers still own more homes and are expected to continue to grow to meet Millennial demand. pointed out that it is predicted that there will be a shortage of 70,000 “ground-related housing units” over the next 10 years.
She added that there is also a cultural component. Canadians place great value on homeownership.
“People value their homes not just as an asset, but as a place to live,” says Petramala, who lives in Toronto.
Julia Chan, a certified financial planner and co-founder of Spring Plans in South Surrey, B.C., says the cost of moving, especially for those living in a paid-off home, can make downsizing more difficult. He says this is also a barrier for many elderly people considering it.The cost includes: Preparing your home for sale, disposing of unwanted items, staging, packers and movers, real estate agent and attorney fees, real estate transfer taxes, apartment rental fees and monthly fees to consider, etc.
“Moving costs will be higher than most people expected,” Chong said. Some of her clients who continue to live in their homes without downsizing “realize that the net financial benefit of downsizing is not as much as they had hoped, or that the smaller home requires more You may even find that it costs more.” Location, amenities, age, and of course the market for the same. ”
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