How Canadians Envision Their Homes

Ever wonder how Canadians envision their homes? Do you desire a spacious three-bedroom, two-bath detached house with a white picket fence in a rural community? Or how about a two-bedroom and den condominium in the heart of downtown? 

Housing desires have transformed in recent years as our lives have also been dramatically altered. What was conceivable in 2019 is now a reality for many households today, especially the concept of working from home (78 per cent prefer this to a traditional office environment). At the same time, housing affordability and the cost of living have also become paramount in the search for the best residential property to hang up your hat and coat. 

So, as families work with their real estate agents to find a suitable home for their needs, what exactly do Canadians want in their semi-detached houses, townhomes, or condominium suites? Spoiler alert: it is all about a multi-purpose abode with space and storage – and a little bit more. 

How Canadians Envision Their Homes 

Here are four ways Canadians envision their homes in 2023: 

#1 Multi-Purpose Home Spaces 

In the post-pandemic world, the home has become a workspace, study area, gym, movie theatre, and restaurant. So, it is any wonder why more households desire multi-purpose living quarters. 

According to a new study commissioned by RE/MAX, many homeowners and prospective homebuyers view their residential properties as more of a “multifunctional space.” This is what the report learned: 

  • One-quarter of Canadians see their homes as a “safe space.”  
  • Twenty-one per cent view their living areas as a place to “spend my time learning and developing.” 
  • One-fifth say they want their homes to “reflect my creative side.” 

“People are bringing more intentionality and purpose to how they are utilizing space,” said Chelsea Hamre, a RE/MAX real estate agent, in the report. “The office needs to feel different from the kitchen or the bedroom. They’re looking for spaces that can shift their mindset.” 

At the same time, Canadians still desire a healthier work-life balance, with nearly half (47 per cent) of remote workers revealing that they cannot maintain a work-life balance. 

#2 Storage 

With filing cabinets, computers, workstations, treadmills, the children’s school supplies, and the kitty condo, your home can fill up pretty quickly. This explains why 64 per cent of Canadians say that storage space is crucial when acquiring a home, up from 57 per cent in 2020. So yes, Ikea may have plenty of storage options available, but homebuyers and homeowners might also need to be creative with the available space. 

“Very often, people are willing to go for smaller spaces, but they want really flexible, well-designer smaller spaces,” said Ken Greenberg, the former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the city of Toronto, in the report. 

As a result, homebuyers are turning to real estate agents to help them uncover potential in homes they might not have thought about. 

#3 Security 

Your home is a symbol of control in an unstable world. 

The research uncovered this, as Canadians envisioned their homes as building a life on their own terms. Most homeowners concede that their home has become more important to them since the COVID-19 public health crisis, and two-thirds have felt a stronger emotional connection to their home. 

According to the study, 66 per cent of Canadian homebuyers cite security as a top concern and an essential home feature.  

“The ability to withdraw and have your own space and privacy within the home is important,” noted Greenberg. “That’s where the adaptability of the space comes in. As opposed to having lots of rooms and being able to close the door, maybe it takes a different form.” 

#4 Green Living is Easy Living 

Do you aim to be green? 

For a growing number of Canadians, maintaining a sustainable form of living is crucial to reducing stress and bolstering personal well-being. In addition, mitigating their environmental footprint has many anticipating that this would trim their long-term costs, be it energy efficiency or climate resilience. 

This is not a small number of Canadians, either. Eighty percent say having a so-called green home is important to them, up slightly from 71 percent in 2020. 

“For us, it was important to pick something that was relatively energy-efficient,” said Alisha, a repeat homebuyer in Alberta, in the report. “It’s very important in a city like ours where it’s extremely cold. If you don’t have energy efficiency, your utility bills can be very expensive.” 

External green living is also a crucial component for homebuyers: 

  • 62 per cent of Canadians say outdoor activity spaces and parks are important factors when searching for a home. 
  • 68 percent of buyers reported that outdoor spaces and parks were important factors in home buying. 
  • 59 percent of Canadians admit that good natural light is an extremely important factor during the home-buying process. 

The Future of Homebuying 

In the end, today’s generation of homebuyers has different needs than yesterday’s generation. Nevertheless, it can be safe to summarize the desires of the current crop of buyers: they want an energy-efficient multi-purpose space with plenty of storage and a property that can elicit feelings of security. Will the present inventory of homes fit these needs, or will future builds adapt to these characteristics? 


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