I know that nothing heats up a crowd of real estate enthusiasts like using the latest in buzzwords.
Given that, I predict that this will be my most popular email to date.
Mind you, I also predicted that the Blue Jays would be in playoff contention this year and that we would see scandal free, boring Mayoral races in Toronto and Brampton.
Nonetheless, here we go with the latest buzzword.
As with most buzzwords, this is a quick way to sum up something quickly.
In this case, it is living in a location that is a convenient distance from workplaces, amenities, stores and urban hubs, with access to rapid transit. This allows for shorter commuting times and realistic opportunities to walk, cycle or take transit to places where you go, work and play every day.
This term is in the news today as a result of a report that was released by the Pembina Institute and RBC about GTA homebuyers’ preferences.
The full report can be found here but here are the key findings along with my thoughts.
- GTA homebuyers prefer walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhoods to car-dependent locations
This is the most important take-away from the report. Location matters. The best house in a remote location without access to amenities and transit will lose out to properties in better locations.
- Most homebuyers choose a location based on price rather than preferences
This is a critical point given the real estate market today. Buyers are choosing homes based on what they can afford. This means that homes that are not in a great location are selling, simply because they are affordable. When the market shifts (and it always shifts) and those homes are competing against ones in good locations, their resale prices will suffer tremendously.
- Walkable, transit-friendly suburbs are becoming more popular
Even in the suburbs, location matters. While many are drawn to the larger homes and lots in the suburbs, it is the homes that are still close to amenities and transit that hold their value.
- All age groups and family types prefer location-efficient living
This isn’t a trend specific to a particular age range of buyer. While seniors (over 60) and young buyers (under 35) are particularly drawn to location-efficient living, everyone prefers to live close to amenities and transit. Everyone.
- Understanding transportation costs makes homebuyers more likely to choose a walkable, transit-friendly neighbourhood
This basically means that when we spell out the cost of owning a 2nd car or the cost of long commutes, location becomes even more attractive.
As always, what matters to me is how I can use this information on behalf of my clients, whether they are buyers or sellers.
For my buying clients, this means that we don’t allow the price alone to dictate where we put in our offers. I hold myself responsible for making sure that the home you purchase holds its value and does better than the market over the years. We do this by not accepting unacceptable trade-offs and substituting a good location for a cheaper price.
For my selling clients, this means that we highlight everything and anything that makes it clear your home is situated for location-efficient living. Whether this is proximity to a great shopping area or being close to existing or soon to arrive transit options, I focus on explaining to buyers why your home is worth the price we’re asking. If your home is, in fact, not as great a representation of location-efficient living as possible, we take that into account when deciding on our pricing and marketing strategy. By knowing that this is important to many buyers, we can make sure we are choosing the right comparable properties to highlight and that we point up the other positive attributes of your home.
I would love the opportunity to help you or your friends, family or colleagues buy, sell or invest and be responsible for what comes next.
I promise to keep the buzzwords to a minimum. Synergistically speaking that is.