Canada's Condominium Magazine
Millennials are used to being blamed for all of society’s ills, from workplace recruitment issues to short inventory supply in real estate markets. In reality, they’re mostly a victim of demographics. If they “boomerang” back to their parents homes it’s because they’re priced out of the hot markets in Toronto and Vancouver.
As more and more of them bounce back to the nest, fewer listings hit the markets — with frustrated boomers unable to sell — and this, in turn, fuels the market. Other prospective home owners are forced, even in their “thirty-somethings”, to rent in the short-supply rental market, with multiple roommates.
All of these factors put pressures on young families — possibly even leading to permanent population shrinking with a new set of demographic burdens. Putting aside what government can do, Millennials are creating (or inspiring) their own innovative solutions.
Micro-Condos and Speed Dating and more
Smaller condominiums are helping the situation, together with Innovative solutions — such as “buying a home with a stranger” (dubbed “home-owner speed dating”), where two or more total strangers agree to buy a home together.
Some of the innovative solutions to the housing crisis for Millennials include:
- Airbnb Solution: stay in the nest (temporarily), but buy with the view of profiting on Airbnb in the short term until it is affordable to move into the home. In other words, through rental income, generate sufficient revenue to carry the costs of ownership at least short term. (Serious drawback: most condominiums prohibit Airbnb in their communities, and Airbnb itself is viewed by experts as part of the problem in terms of housing shortage issues.)
- Crowd-living: new homeowner (s) — often financed in part by parents, and almost always buying into the more affordable condo market — live in their new condo with multiple roommates to make carrying costs affordable.
- Densification of existing homes: an older solution, still in play, where a larger home is turned into apartment units which rent out. (Often the home owner ends up in the basement apartment.)
- Home-Owner Speed Dating: a trendy new phenomenon which shows the desperation of the market, even though it may not be a viable long-term solution: groups of prospective home buyers get together and interview-each other with the view of co-buying a home.
- Micro-Condos: smaller and smaller condos for first-timers, as small as 150 square feet, with innovative interiors, fold up built-in furniture and other space-saving technologies.
- Rent-to-Own: is an evolving option, where the prospective owner rents under contract, with their rent going, at least in part, towards purchase on agreed upon conditions.
Video with great “Micro Condo” space-saving ideas:
Alecia’s Story — Crowd-Living
Alecia (name changed) is herself a college student. With the help of parents, Alecia bought a small condominium downtown. She is so enthusiastic about becoming a home-owner, she decided she would put up with a few years of crowded discomfort.
Alecia sleeps in the living room, while college students rent out her bedrooms. The rent is high, and students tend not to mind sharing. After two years, it has worked out so well, Alecia and her parents are considering a second condominium.
The Ontario Government, and previously the B.C. Government, have moved to moderate the real estate markets. (Previously reported, here>>) These solutions tend to take longer, although a tax on foreign investors appears to have already moderated the pressure on markets slightly.
Government solutions tend to be in response to urgent situations, but take time to implement. In the meanwhile, Millennials, desperate not to boomerang back with their parents, are finding their own innovative solutions.