Toronto realtors are trying to get seniors to sell their home. But seniors aren’t budging

By: Jessica Mach on July 18, 2018

With the number of detached homes running low on the Toronto housing market, realtors are feeling more and more pressure to cold-approach homeowners — and ask if they’d be willing to sell.

Evidently, though, few homeowners are game. And it seems that the older the homeowner, the less they are willing to entertain the idea of retiring anywhere but their current residence.

Nine out of 10 seniors aged 65 or older don’t want to move or downsize during their retirement years, according to a recent poll by marketing research firm Ipsos. That’s compared to 79% of adults aged 55-64, 74% of those between the ages of 45-54, and 68% of people aged 35-44.

The youngest cohort, people between the ages of 25-34, were the least likely to consider retiring in their current home a priority, with only 55% reporting it as their preference.

As competition remains heated in Toronto’s housing market, the refusal of seniors to downsize and let go of their detached houses is just one more factor making it difficult for younger homebuyers to lock down a family home.

Other factors include prices — which, despite falling year-over-year every month this year up until June, are still high — and the fact that construction on detached homes has declined to the lowest level in decades in both Toronto and Vancouver.

In Ontario, 25% of homeowners aged 75 and over said that they have been approached by realtors asking them if they’d want to sell, even though they’d never indicated that they wanted to sell their homes before.

One possible reason for their reluctance to sell is the recent downward trajectory of Toronto’s housing market. June was the first month where average home prices didn’t fall in the city, but seniors may be holding on longer in the hopes that prices will dip up again and allow them to make a bigger profit, according to Global News.