Buyers willing to sacrifice space for walkability

Families are willing to sacrifice backyard space in the suburbs for green space on their doorstep. Should investors follow suit?

Families are seeing more benefit in living in houses that are in close proximity to good green spaces and child-friendly amenities than spending extra for extra backyard inches.

“It’s great to have a backyard but if you are commuting for two hours each way to work, you don’t have the time to enjoy that space with the children,” says Matt Elkind from The Condo Store Realty Inc. ‘More families are realising the benefits of sacrificing a few things, like extra house space, for a better quality of life for everyone.”

According to a recent survey from RBC and Pembina Institute, more homebuyers in the 18 to 35 age-category prefer more walkable, transit-orientated location. The respondents say they would pay more to live in such neighbourhoods even if it meant downsizing their desired homes.

Just two years ago, most large families said their main priority was a big house and a yard regardless of cost. Now, they are more willing to sacrifice such a “luxury” to be closer to conveniences.

“We know the millennials are rejecting the car-dependent suburbs of their parents and they want to be where the action is, they want to walk,” says Pembina’s Ontario director, Cherise Burda.

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