In the real estate industry, it’s important to know what location factors are important to buyers, but it’s also important to understand what people don’t care about.
We recently shared the results of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and Mustel Group’s Modern Family Home Ownership Trends Report: Neighbourhoods “in Transit,” which highlights top location factors that buyers prioritize when looking for a new home. It was discovered that buyers in Toronto value neighbourhood safety, and living close to work and family the most.
But what don’t Torontonians care about? Builders, condo developers, and real estate agents devote a lot of time, money and resources to researching advertising neighbourhood amenities in order to entice people to buy a property. It’s interesting that safety is a top priority, yet we never see a crime rate statistic on a project’s amenities map.
On new home community amenities maps, you typically see schools, grocery stores, places of worship, shopping, dining, major roads and highways, parks, recreation centres, bike trails, and landmarks.
Well, according to Sotheby’s survey of 20-45 year old buyers in Toronto, the least important location factors are proximity to nightlife/clubs/bars, cycling friendliness/infrastructure, and living close to friends. A few other low scoring location factors include living close to restaurants and cafes, living within the catchment area for a specific public school, and car friendliness.
Only 2% of people put cycling friendliness in their top three priorities, and proximity to nightlife/clubs/bars had the same share. Only 8% think living close to friends is important, while 15% somewhat prioritize their home search based on desired schools. It’s shocking that only 10% consider proximity to restaurants and cafes as one of their top three priorities when buying a home.
Based on Sotheby’s findings, new home community amenities maps should focus more on the safety of the neighbourhood (51%), employment opportunities, transit friendliness (29%), and proximity to grocery stores (23%).
Looking at this from another perspective, it’s possible that Toronto buyers don’t consider things like living close to friends, restaurants, cafes, and bars because dense urban areas where 20-45 year old people want to live have these things already, so it makes sense to prioritize safety.
For example, if you’re looking to buy a home in either The Annex, King West, The Junction Triangle, or St. Lawrence Market, all of these neighbourhoods are transit friendly and have an abundance of restaurants, cafes, shopping, grocery store options, and bars. So, which one is the safest? According to Toronto Police, The Junction Triangle would win this contest with a low total crime count in 2018.
Do your neighbourhood priorities align with Sotheby’s findings?