There is a growing number of first-time homebuyers who are relocating much further away from cities such as Toronto and Vancouver in order to escape the high cost of big-city housing. These homebuyers are bypassing the traditional suburbs for “exurbs,” towns that are near secondary municipalities and beyond a reasonable commute to the large urban centres. 

By choosing a home in the exurbs, first time homebuyers have much better purchasing power and can afford a house for a similar or even less price than that of a small condo. According to Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage, eight of the 10 fastest appreciating Canadian exurbs are in Ontario, led by areas surrounding Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, Kingston, Niagara/St. Catharines, Hamilton, Belleville/Trenton and Guelph. In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops regions outside of Vancouver. Businesses are also accommodating this migration by opening offices and using technology that allows knowledge workers to locate just about anywhere, said Soper.

A recent poll from Genworth Canada and Royal LePage showed that the majority of buyers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are worried that their down payment will not be enough. Many adults have continued to live with their parents in order to save for a home of their own however this has delayed many from downsizing. Relocating in these urban centres comes at a high price and baby boomers are looking at following their offspring to these secondary cities. 

Millennials are responding to the lure of lower prices, says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president of ReMax. “They’re looking for whatever they can afford and the good news is a majority of millennials still see home ownership as a good investment and they’re doing what they can to get into the market and start building equity,” he said. “So if they can find work in another city where they can afford to buy they’ll do it.”

Source: The Star