Blog by Andrew Peck

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Millennial buyers and four trends changing real estate

Millennial buyers and four trends changing real estate

By 2041, more than 1.2 million more residents will call Metro Vancouver home, bringing our population to 3.4 million residents.

To accommodate newcomers, we’ll need more than 574,000 new housing units according to Metro Vancouver data.

Given Metro Vancouver’s geographical constraints – the North Shore mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the US border, and protected agricultural land – how will this shape our communities? 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver asked Bob Ransford, an urban design expert who's spent 25 years tackling complex urban development and land use challenges.

Here are four trends he thinks will shape real estate in Metro Vancouver in the next decade. 

1. Transit oriented development (TOD): increased density around transit lines and stations which reduces traffic and energy consumption. Micro-suites of 250 sq. ft. which have car-sharing will become even more popular with Millennials because small is beautiful when it's what you can afford.

2. Small-scale density: to maximize land use and reduce building and infrastructure costs, look for more small detached energy-efficient micro-homes, cottages and multi-family units on small lots in pocket neighbourhoods. Increased affordability lets younger families move into neighbourhoods and seniors stay.

3. Changes in tenure: fee simple, strata tenure and co-housing ownership will be joined by new types of shared ownership that helps promote small-scale density. Legislation will change to allow property owners to build and sell laneway homes and secondary suites, which are now only permitted as rentals.

4. Maker Spaces: a trend that preserves industrial areas by combining light industry such as artisan manufacturing, with residential. Cities are economic growth engines and this new mixed-use zoning encourages industry which doesn’t produce noxious fumes or use heavy equipment in residential areas, helping jobs stay close to home. Examples: MakerLabs on Kingsway which rent laser cutters, routers, 3D scanners and printers, industrial sewing machines and woodworking tools.

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