Six in 10 millennials would consider suburbs for cheaper homes

By: Jessica Mach on April 17, 2019

Eight in 10 millennials aspire to own their own home, and most of them are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it — even if that means moving to the suburbs.

Sixty-four percent of millennials said that they are willing to consider suburbia to access homes that better meet their current needs or future goals, according to a report released Wednesday by Toronto-Dominion (TD) bank. When it comes to buying, respondents reported their top concerns as affordability (78%), home size (60%) and neighbourhood (59%) — most of which are better served by suburban areas.

The homebuying habits of millennials are increasingly going to shape the country’s housing markets over the next few decades — already, they make up half the country’s new homebuyers.

As with older generations, the priorities of millennials seem to be shifting as they age and place increasing value on stability and starting families.

Survey respondents said that they are willing to eat out less (58%), shop less frequently (56%) and cut down on entertainment spending (50%) in order to achieve home ownership.

Instead, respondents were drawn to the way that the suburbs offered better affordability (78%), more outdoor space (63%) and larger living areas (62%).

“We’re now seeing Millennials looking beyond the city for their housing needs, particularly as they start thinking about their needs for the future, like having more space to raise a family,” said Pat Giles, vice president, real estate secured lending at TD.

“As a result, many are choosing the suburbs to either make the move to a new home or upsize from their current one, a shift from just a few years ago when city living was this generation’s preference.”

However, there’s still one thing that’s better served by city life: proximity.

Only 27% of millennials said that they were willing to extend their commute in exchange for their dream home. Which means those millennials either need to find work in the suburbs or take advantage of changing work habits, such as working from home.