More and more millennials are moving to the burbs, not being able to afford city living. I’ll detail the pros and cons of both.
With Toronto’s average home purchase price at $465,000 ($115,000 higher than the national average) many millennials might be swayed from purchasing their first home in the city. About 32% of millennials surveyed in a recent study say that the Toronto housing market is out of their reach. Of the rest, nearly half say they are going to rely on mom and dad for some or all of their down payment. The majority of those who want to buy but don’t have the funds say they will wait until they can afford to buy in their desired Toronto neighbourhood (whenever that may be). Only 14% of those polled said they would choose a neighbourhood outside of their preferred neighbourhood in order to buy a home. But, another study found that 45% of GTA residents are seriously considering leaving because housing costs are too high.
While city living is grand, moving to the suburbs is also a great and definitely more affordable choice.
City living benefits
Analysts say that millennials love city living for a variety of reasons. These include:
- closeness to work/ability to focus on career
- social life
- urban lifestyle
- close to shops and restaurants
Millennials care more about keeping up their urban lifestyle and career than they do about owning a traditional house. They are striving for quality over quantity, wanting gorgeous spaces in the city rather than larger spaces outside of the city. Many condo communities become urban villages, with everything within walking distance.
It comes at a price
But, living the high life in the city comes at a high price and for those who can ante up the down payment and hit their max mortgage payment, there is room for nothing else. When most of your money is going towards housing costs, there isn’t room to enjoy the city or to travel outside of the city.
Suburb living benefits
The millennials who are heading outside of the city are doing so to get more land and house for their dollar. It is proving fruitful for many who have already bought in the suburbs, as home prices continue to increase and getting into the market rather than hoping and waiting for a drop was the best option. Many find that their suburban cities to the west, east and north of the city, have all of the amenities of Toronto including shops, restaurants and sometimes jobs.
The downside to suburb living hits hard when the jobs are located in Toronto and millennials have to spend hours sitting in a vehicle or on transit commuting to work. Most find commuting mentally draining and leaves little time for a social life, fitness or even their families. As well, the costs related to commuting can add up to the cost of a mortgage payment.
Millennials need to take a good, hard look at what they need the most before deciding on suburb or city living. If you need any help with that discussion, be sure to contact me.