The retirement downsizing myth: No, seniors aren’t moving in droves

From Financial Post: Retirement community developers, for-profit retirement homes, and aspiring young homebuyers are all counting on aging seniors to downsize their homes. While some seniors will move to a smaller home, what if they do not downsize to the degree expected?

A recent survey by Ryerson’s National Institute on Ageing found that 91 per cent of respondents would try “to live safely and independently in their own home as long as possible.” The survey was conducted this summer, so the findings may be influenced by the impact of COVID-19 on retirement and nursing home residents.

However, Mustel Group and Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s pre-pandemic 2020 Generational Real Estate Trends Report: Aging in Place revealed similar findings, with 86 per cent of boomer homeowners looking to live in their current home as long as possible.

Survey results about seniors’ intentions are interesting to consider, but statistics about what they are actually doing may be more insightful. In the 2016 Census, Statistics Canada found “seniors are less likely to move than the general population. In 2016, only 5.5 per cent of seniors 65 to 74 years old, and 4.7 per cent of those 75 years and older had moved compared to 13 per cent of the general population in the previous year.”

See full Generational Real Estate Trends Report here