On the Markets: Retiring baby boomers may generate activity

Forty per cent of baby boomers in Ontario plan to move for their retirement, but many are waiting to sell their homes in the hope that values will increase, according to a recent report.

Baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — indicated their top motivating factors to move in a TD Canada Trust Boomer Buyers Report. They reported that their home is part of their retirement strategy (37%) or their current home is too big (29%). Although many respondents delayed their downsizing plans because of house value, nearly one in five indicated that they need the extra space to accommodate adult children still living with them. Those adult children are also keeping some boomers (17%) from moving at all. 

Almost half of boomers (45%) in the province still have a mortgage on their home and the majority (57%) revealed they will need another to finance their next home purchase. Seven in ten respondents indicated that they plan to make a large down payment on their next home purchase, while almost half (49%) will try to save on interest payments by making more frequent mortgage payments and shortening the amortization period.

Although 63 per cent of Ontario boomers say they believe they will be able to retire mortgage-free, 37 per cent say it’s not likely because of other expenses.

Baby boomers — whether mortgage-free or not — will continue to drive demand in the national housing market over the next 20 years, according to the Conference Board of Canada. The board predicts that by 2030, more than 60 per cent of new households will be aged 75 and older. If younger seniors are included, that figure jumps to 81 per cent. Seniors are expected to look for smaller, less burdensome housing, boosting demand for multiple housing units, especially condos and apartments.

The board’s Canadian Long Term Economic forecast predicts that the share of multiple housing units will increase from the current rate (47%) upwards (to 68%) in 2030. “As the population ages, construction will shift from single family dwellings in the suburbs to multifamily developments catering to the needs and desires of the soon-to-retire baby boom generation,” the article concludes.