HJ Properties' Waterstone in Langley has been appealing to downsizers and first-time buyers alike.

HJ Properties' Waterstone in Langley has been appealing to downsizers and first-time buyers alike.

BC Real Estate: Baby boomers driving downsizing trend

Baby boomers are looking to purchase multi-family properties for a myriad of reasons.

The baby boomers have long been the drivers of trends, and as they age they still make a difference. A new report from Colliers International, commissioned by HJ Properties, shows that many of that generation are considering their options regarding downsizing from their family homes.

“The research really surprised me,” says Scott Brown, senior vice-president of residential and commercial marketing services at Colliers International Marketing. “I thought there would be a mass exodus to Kelowna, but that’s not happening.”

Instead, people looking to downsize in the Fraser Valley are considering how to stay in their neighbourhood, have money for retirement and help their children, all in one package.

Projects such as HJ’s Waterstone in Langley are thus very appealing to downsizers, Brown says. With larger floorplans and plenty of amenities nearby, buyers of all ages are finding something to love about their new home.

“Logic starts to win over magic,” Brown says. “People emotionally want to stay in a single-family home, but as the baby boomers get older, they have different considerations.”

One of the largest considerations is security, both of their property and themselves.

“Having a neighbour looking out for you is important,” says Brown. “In a multi-family project, you don’t have as many worries.”

The report showed that price was the biggest deciding factor for most baby boomers.

“You can buy a multi-family home for about $400,000,” Brown says. “That doesn’t get you much in a single-family home.”

Another big reason that generation is buying smaller homes?

“I’ve been told that many people are moving into a multi-family home as a defence against their kids moving back in with them,” laughs Brown.