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Where to live: young professionals rate commute time to work and access to transit as more important than “Dream home”: Toronto Region Board of Trade

76% of young professionals, or Millennials, ranked their commute to work as the most important factor in choosing where to live. They were willing to compromise their idea of a “dream home” for a shorter, better quality commute.

This is the first time commute time scored so high as a preferrence in housing location. In past surveys proximity to amenities (such as schools, parks, grocerystores) ranked higher, along with cost of living. In this survey, the ranking reveals a dramatic shift, which — in part — explains the growing preference for condominiums in Toronto:

  • 76 per cent ranked commute to work the most important factor overall
  • 59 per cent selected proximity to amenities such as parks, community centres and grocery stores
  • 53 per cent selected cost of living
  • 47 per cent selected access to higher order transit
  • 32 per cent selected living in a community I identify with fifth most important overall

 

Research poll of Millenials (18-36 year old) Young Professionals ranking commute time, transit and cost of living. Young Professionals overwhelming ranked commute time over “their dream home.”

 

“Our members have long told us that commute times across the region are depriving them of time with family and friends, which as our survey shows, is a major factor influencing their housing decisions,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade. “As the city and region continue to grow, connected communities with an array of amenities will be key to ensuring our talented YPs want to and can work here.”

Notions of a “quaint community” or local village were swept aside in this survey — at least for Millenials. Quality of life is being related to shorter commute times and easy transit, rather than local amenities and a “community I identify.” This doesn’t mean price or amenities are unimportant, but the significant gap — with 76% choosing commute as the number one factor — is significant.

Developers and city planners on track

The push towards vertical living and downtown lifestyle, evident in the City of Toronto planning and developer activity, is soundly reinforced by this data — even if it takes years to fulfil the vision. Based on this sample size, this is a significant opinion poll of Millenials in Toronto as of late 2017. It indicates that a Millenials will clearly compromise their ideal home (the old “picket fence in a nice community” metaphor) for proximity to work, shorter commute times, and better transit. Condo.ca has covered the “shift” in preferences throughout the year:

Current situation of these Young Professionals

When asked background questions, of those surveyed — a statistically signicant sample of 800 (agest 18-39) — the current situation helps explain the preference:

  • 44 per cent use transit such as the TTC or GO Transit and have an average 42-minute one-way commute
  • 31 per cent rely on private vehicles and have an average 37-minute one-way commute
  • 25 per cent use active transportation such as walking and cycling and commute on average 21-minutes one-way
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