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Where are Millennials Going to Move When They Start Having Children?

Photograph Kembangan by Jason Waltman on 500px

Kembangan by Jason Waltman on 500px

Earlier this week I attended RealNet's Q1 2015 market update webinar for the Greater Toronto Area. If you don't already subscribe to RealNet, you should consider it. They're one of the best sources for Canadian real estate market information.

During their webinars, they occasionally run interactive surveys where they ask the audience a question and participants respond using their web browser. On this particular webinar, they asked the following question, which I thought was interesting:

What is the likely housing moving by millennials in raising their families?
A) Move up - embrace urban high-rise housing forms
B) Move out - accept extended commutes (including the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Hamilton Area) to find affordable ground oriented housing
C) Move in - cohabit in parental homes

It's an interesting question because it's one that I've asked myself a number of times. Sure, millennials are rushing back to cities and living in high density and walkable communities, today, but what are they going to do and where are they going to move when they start having children?

As a millennial myself, I know that I've always told myself that I want to stay urban for as long as I can (i.e. Move Up). But I'm only one data point. And given the seemingly endless demand for low-rise housing in Toronto, I always felt like I was in the minority. I figured that the majority of people, at least here in this city, still want a ground-related home when it comes time to raise a family.

Putting aside economics, I still think that may be the case for a lot of home buyers. But the majority of people on this week's RealNet webinar (which would be almost exclusively folks from the real estate industry) either think that preference is going to change (or already has) or that consumers won't have a choice due to affordability.

50% of the people on the call answered A – move up and embrace urban high-rise housing forms. The balance was about 44% for B and 6% for C.

That's not the outcome I expected to see. So today I'd like to re-ask this question to the Sustainable Cities Collective. Where do you think millennials are going to move once they start having children? Please let us know in the comment section below.