Modern families in Toronto value neighbourhood safety when buying a home Image

Modern families in Toronto value neighbourhood safety when buying a home

By Newinhomes on May 07, 2019

When it comes to buying a home in Toronto, young modern families prioritize safety, work and family. You’ll be interested in what urban dwellers don’t care about when it comes to home location.  

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and Mustel Group released its Modern Family Home Ownership Trends Report: Neighbourhoods “in Transit,” focusing on Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal. The survey respondents were mostly adults aged 20-45 years. 

“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.”

Taking all four markets into account, 28% listed transit friendliness as one of their top three priorities when looking into new home locations. To put this in perspective, only 17% said car friendliness was a top priority and a shockingly low 4% said cycling friendliness was a top priority. 

It’s clear that proximity to work is important to modern families because 57% purchased a home within a 30 minute drive or commute to work, and 84% are satisfied with the length of their commute. 

The overall leading priority for location selection was safety, with 48% of modern families listing it in their top three. Living close to work is very important with 38% naming it as one of their top priorities, and living close to family follows closely at 30%. Living near parks and nature, as well as elementary and secondary schools were prioritized 24% of the time. 

“Transportation and housing have always been inextricably linked. Investments into any transportation infrastructure, whether rapid transit, bus lines, roads, or bike lanes, 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. “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.”

Now let’s take a closer look at Toronto. Safety was among the top three priorities for 51% of modern families surveyed. Living close to work was a top priority for 37% and living close to family was important to 32%. Transit friendliness was fourth most important, appearing as a top priority for 29% of modern families in Toronto. 

The least important location factors to modern families in Toronto include living close to nightlife/clubs/bars (2%) and cycling infrastructure (2%). This cycling finding is actually pretty disappointing because we feel like cycling has increased in downtown Toronto in recent years. Perhaps this says something about the cycling infrastructure in the city - maybe it’s not even good enough to consider when buying a home. 

Another of the lowest location priorities is living close to friends (8%). This may be related to affordability. It’s tough to consider proximity to friends when staying on budget is limiting your options. Or maybe Torontonians just don’t like each other because 14% of modern families in Vancouver want to live close to their friends, and their housing is just as, and in some cases, more expensive than Toronto.


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