Canada's Housing Market Braces and Bends for Boomers

As Baby Boomers reach retirement age in Canada, nearly one out of five in the country will be retired within a decade. This coming retirement boom is already affecting the housing market, which many expect to change dramatically.
March 22, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"True, it will take a while for all the Boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1965, and the largest group in the Canadian population - to take the golden handshake. And no one knows exactly what housing choices they will finally make or how it will impact housing. But count on this: The huge numbers will mean changes to how and where we live."

"The changes have already started, with builders unveiling adult-lifestyle communities of bungalow townhomes, sometimes including a central community centre where residents gather for cards, potlucks or swimming classes."

"For starters, 28% of Canadians polled in a 2006 Royal LePage survey said they intend to sell their homes as part of their retirement plan. Granted, the downturn in the housing market has temporarily shrunk resale opportunities, and many Canadians, stung by the recession, have postponed retirement. But stability will return, and hordes of Boomers will be scouting for new digs."

"Depending on immigration, the homes left behind could be snapped up by new Canadians or by younger folks; if Boomers move downtown, their old homes could help ease urban sprawl. For sure, the face of older, established neighbourhoods will change."

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Published on Friday, March 20, 2009 in The National Post
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