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With younger generations in Canada entering the workforce and increasing their purchasing power, the purchasers of residential and commercial real estate are slowly changing. Canadian CRE is entering not only its new, post-pandemic phase but an entirely new chapter shaped by the youngest investors entering the scene.
Generation Z, often referred to as Gen-Z or Zoomers (those born between 1996 and 2012), is redefining what it means to be a property owner, bringing about exciting changes to the Canadian residential and commercial markets.
Real estate investing has long been an exclusive industry that has shunned younger generations like the Millennials (born between 1980 and 1995). With the rising inflation and ever-increasing wage gaps, younger generations simply do not have enough capital to invest in traditional residential or commercial real estate. However, Gen-Z is adamant about owning property, finding ever-more innovative ways to overcome the steep cost of entry.
Instead of wasting time and energy accumulating enough wealth to become independent homeowners, Zoomers are increasingly relying on the rising sharing economy trends and crowdfunding.
They are pooling together to invest in Canadian residential and commercial properties at affordable prices per individual. They do not purchase homes to live in them, but rather to take part in property ownership and reap the benefits of capital appreciation while avoiding the added responsibilities of traditional homeownership, including mortgages, property maintenance, and steep taxes, to name but a few.
Wealth accumulation is no longer a focus for younger generations. Millennials and Zoomers are increasingly prioritizing the wealth-sharing culture. They are not as interested in making decisions that can benefit themselves solely, but those that can help others.
The trend is apparent in the workforce, where younger generations are more concerned about employee wellbeing and the environmental impact of a company rather than their ultimate salary. It is evident in their purchasing habits that they prioritize brands that have social responsibility rather than those that bring something new to the table.
Ultimately, it is apparent in their CRE and residential investments where they prioritize properties with affordable housing units, sustainable offices, and clean features rather than those catered solely to the top 1%, no matter the cost.
They increasingly believe that their communities should be shaped by unifying causes, not by economic or educational backgrounds. They would rather not profit from their tenants unscrupulously. They want to create mutually beneficial communities where everyone gets a chance to grow and develop together.
Therefore, Zoomers invest in residential properties built for long-term housing. They invest in commercial properties built for sustainable growth. They’re using their rising purchasing power to change the markets for the better and allow entry to all generations and people of all backgrounds.
Unlike the generations that came before them, Millennial and Zoomer investors in Canada want to open the market to everyone. To that extent, they are building vast online investment communities on platforms like Reddit, Discord, and even TikTok to share valuable information that can help other young investors realize their dreams.
They educate and inform their peers on the common investment mistakes to avoid, opportunities to look for, tips and tricks to follow, and more. They are creating genuine investment communities that only stand to benefit the overall Canadian CRE and residential markets by driving healthy activity and generating interest from the wider public.
Gen-Z believes in transparency above all else, and new tech allows them to deliver transparency and democratize the world of property investing. It will enable them to ask questions, engage with the markets on their terms, and come into the fold without jumping through hoops. Most importantly, tech allows them to do it all together. Exclusive markets are a thing of the past. Gen-Z is bringing inclusivity and building investment communities open to all.
The increase in investments has been a welcome change of pace after the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Millennial and Zoomer investors are changing the face of the Canadian CRE and residential markets. They are inspiring growth, engagement, and exciting activity. These young investors are proving that there continues to be a great interest in Canadian CRE. The deals exists and can be done with pooling money together, and many investors; including, Millennial and Zoomers are seizing each opportunity that comes their way.