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Millennials are becoming savvy and thinking outside the box when it comes to buying real estate.

There are more than 7 million millennials living in Canada today, making them the largest age group in the nation since the baby boomers. They’re between the ages of 22 and 37, so they can’t all be painted with the same brush. Some are still in post-secondary education, while others have been in the workforce for a while and are primed to buy their first homes.

It’s All About Creativity
With costs of homes at a premium, some millennials have had to get creative when in the market for a home purchase. Experts say Canadian developers need to pay attention to these trends and get onboard since millennials have a marked influence on the economy and ultimately on housing trends.

Some millennials are choosing to stay at home with their parents and actually buy into the family property. They live in the home with their partners and begin to raise their own children there in what are known as multi-generational homes.

In these cases, homes come with basement suites or laneway additions with grandparents moving out of the main home allowing their children and grandchildren to move into the main area of the home. In many instances, it’s a win-win situation.

Rental Units
Another popular trend among millennials is buying a property and renting out a basement that has been converted into an apartment. They are also buying up duplexes for the same reason—rental income which allows them to pay down their mortgages quicker.

They’re seeing real estate as an investment. Buying such a property as a first purchase helps many millennials get into their forever homes sooner. In some cases, they’re even keeping their first homes for rental income.

Getting on Board
With these trends are not likely to change in the foreseeable future, developers should consider these issues in their new builds. Housing starts need to accommodate multi-generational living as well living on the main floor and renting out a basement suite. Condos with lock-off suites are also becoming quite popular.

Millennials also look for added incentives when purchasing property such as included appliances, USB charging ports and smart thermostats. In buildings, they appreciate places for bicycle storage, common work spaces, communal kitchens and dining areas, and walkable locations.