Homebuyers are like Goldilocks, looking for “just right”
Simple and smaller are better, as long as the quality remains intact. That sums up the feelings of Canadian consumers when it comes to residential living choices, according to the latest research from Moen Canada, in which hundreds of Canadian consumers were surveyed.
“We still crave independence, but economic conditions and traditions are making multi-generational living and rightsizing more common,” said Jack Suvak, senior director of market research and insights, Moen. “Consumers are also looking to spend their hard-earned money on experiences versus collecting things, creating additional opportunity for technology in the home.”
Quality vs. Quantity
There is positive news for the Canadians. Income and employment across Canada continues to grow, and the savings rate for Canadian consumers has held at four per cent or higher for the past five years. While the economy may be improving, Canadian consumers are still cautious (and rightfully so) as to where they spend their money – sticking with quality items that will improve their overall lifestyle. “With little extra room to borrow and spend, they could be challenged when it comes to big-ticket items, like real estate expenditures,” explains Suvak.
Canadians are choosing to live a life that’s “right” for them, seeking a better balance of needs versus wants. According to Moen Canada research, 42 per cent of Canadian Baby Boomers (aged 49-67) plan to move from their primary residence, and 68 per cent of those residents plan to downsize or rightsize into a smaller house or condominium. In addition, younger consumers, such as Gen Yers, faced with the expenses of homes and cars, increasingly see urban living as an attractive option.
“Downsizing/rightsizing creates a need for efficient and stylish home products that are multi-functional,” said Suvak, noting that simple living does not mean consumers will compromise on quality when selecting higher-end amenities.
Some retailers are already addressing this trend by featuring examples of how to adapt your home for a downsized environment. This includes a variety of Moen products that offer stylish, compact designs with the functionality and performance consumers expect from the brand – and helps homeowners make the most of smaller, urban apartments. Utilizing a matching suite in both the kitchen and bath creates a visually pleasing aesthetic throughout a small home, where multiple rooms or living spaces are visible from a single spot.
No Place like Home for Retirement
Home has always been where the heart is, but for Boomers, it’s also where the soul is. They want a home that‘s “just right” – a sanctuary, a place where they can gracefully move forward into the next life stage. As this segment enters retirement, more and more seniors want not only to age in place, but to live in place – about 85 per cent of Canadians over the age of 55 wish to remain in their current home as long as possible, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. And to do so, they’re renovating their current homes to meet their needs. In fact, 75 per cent of Boomer home owners completed one or more home improvement project in the past 12 months.
“Today, Boomer empty-nesters are opting to invest in their homes to create their perfect environment, that’s both safe and stylish,” adds Suvak. “They’re seeking areas that enable independence and simply feel roomier and more open.”
In Sync Living
More consumers are looking to spend their money creating experiences versus collecting material items, and are looking for products that help leverage this. According to Moen Canada research, 28 per cent of consumers own a connected home device, and that number is expected to rise as the benefits of these digital in-home devices begin to outweigh the investment. In fact, in the next three-to-five years 36 per cent of Canadians intend to purchase a smart appliance. Smart devices are on trend and bring added safety, security and convenience to homes and many companies are already working to provide these benefits. No matter who, where, how old or how wealthy consumers are, their expectations of technology will continue to rise.
Currently, the biggest factor behind non-adoption is cost; however, as smart home technology becomes even more integrated into households, the possibilities are limitless. From bathroom fixtures, to kitchen appliances, this technology is making home-making a whole lot easier, giving consumer’s reason to ditch time-consuming practices in exchange for new advanced alternatives. For example, MotionSense faucets from Moen utilizes advanced sensors to detect movement in two sensing zones, setting water flow in motion – adding hands-free technology to the kitchen.
“As technology continues to infiltrate virtually every aspect of our lives, and every nook and cranny of our homes, manufacturers will be challenged to develop solutions to fluidly integrate technology and make the tech invasion as seamless – and stylish – as possible,” said Suvak.