Busy lives and the changing trends in how we get around is driving greater demand for homes close to good transit links.
In a new survey released Tuesday, 28% of ‘modern family’ homeowners in major Canadian metros said that transit-friendliness is one of their top 3 homebuying criteria.
Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and Mustel Group’s Modern Family Home Ownership Trends Report: Neighbourhoods “in Transit” shows that transit links are more important than car-friendliness (17%) with cycle-friendly neighbourhoods trailing on 4%.
“Transportation and housing have always been inextricably linked. Investments into any transportation infrastracture, whether rapid transit, bus lines, roads, or bikelanes, not only have a direct impact on a community’s quality of life, but often, real estate values,” says Brad Henderson, President and CEO, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada.
In Toronto and Vancouver, the importance of transit-friendly neighbourhoods was a priority for around 3 in 10 homebuyers, far outpacing the 13% in Vancouver and 17% in Toronto who rank car-friendliness as a leading location factor.
“The importance that many of today’s young families are placing on neighbourhood public transit access when home buying reflects changing attitudes and values, the strains of cost of living, as well as improvements to transit infrastructure made to date. These priorities also point to what this influential group of buyers will deem prime real estate locations in the future,” added Henderson.
Cutting the commute
As work-life balance becomes increasingly important, living closer to work is a priority for modern families.
More than half (57%) of survey respondents said they had bought a home within 30 minutes commute of their work or school; 15% live within 10 minutes and 42% live 10-29 minutes away.
Those in Calgary (69%) are most likely to live within half an hour of their work or school while this is true for around 6 in 10 in Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto.
Young urban families living in Toronto and Vancouver are the most likely to have purchased a home with a commute time of over an hour, at rates of 12% and 13% respectively.
Safety remains the top priority for homebuyers across all regions and overall 48% said safety was a top 3 location factor.
This rises to 45% of modern families in Vancouver, 50% in Calgary, 51% in Toronto and 46% in Montreal.
“Metropolitan areas across Canada have been grappling with balancing the needs of growing populations, and various priorities in transportation, ” says Josh O’Neill, General Manager of Mustel Group. “This report sheds light on the specific needs and priorities of young urban families when it comes to the neighbourhoods in which they live and buy real estate, with findings that highlight the importance of the issue of transportation for this cohort.”
The full report can be found at mustelgroup.com