“Location, location, location.” The famous saying makes it pretty clear that location is everything when it comes to buying a home—the home that it now takes millennials in Canada’s biggest cities 29 years to save enough for

Be close to transit. Close to good schools. The list goes on and on. And for good reason. Location is important, but what if you’re looking for a prime location in an urban area? You’ll either need very deep pockets, a large account at The Bank of Mom and Dad, or, you’ll need to think again. 

The mantra then becomes, “Drive until you qualify”! Given the current skyrocketing real estate prices, millennials will be driving for a long time. And while we know that long, frustrating commutes have become a reality for many homeowners, studies have shown the effects can be detrimental to your health and your bank account.

A comprehensive 2017 study of more than 34,000 workers across the UK found that long-commuting workers (commutes of 30 minutes or more) are 33 per cent more likely to suffer from depression, 37 per cent more likely to have financial worries and 12 per cent more likely to report multiple aspects of work-related stress.

While CMHC recently found that with typical commuting costs, commuters don’t actually end up financially ahead

Homeownership or Urban Living

We’ve all seen the headlines, “Millennials Value Experiences”. Would living in the “drive until you qualify” house lead us to have the experiences that we want? Or are we better off renting…forever? Should we focus on having accessible, diversified savings that we can use more easily for things like travel, or, continue striving for home ownership at all costs? 

Maybe for millennials, conventional homeownership, “driving until you qualify”, and the debt that comes with it, isn’t the ultimate goal? Is it time to change the model? 

The Growth of PropTech 

Until recently, technology companies and startups have really ignored the housing market, but younger generations are looking for more flexibility and a system that works for and with them. The growth in the proptech sector is no fluke, global investment in proptech companies has grown from US$1B in 2012 to US$18B in 2018

If proptech is to follow the lead of other disruptive technologies, it’s only a matter of time before the real estate sector and how we live in and buy homes looks completely different—that’s what our team at Key is so passionate about, creating a solution that makes real estate a source of prosperity and freedom for everyone.