Large number of Canadian seniors choosing to age in place: CMHC

CMHC's latest survey uncovers surprising results…

Large number of Canadian seniors choosing to age in place: CMHC

Although seniors tend to consider downsizing as they get older, a significant proportion are instead choosing to age in their homes rather than put their properties on the market, according to a new report by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The Crown corporation found that only 21.5% of Canadian homeowners aged 75 to 79 sold their properties between 2016 and 2021.

“The number of senior households in Canada is set to increase significantly in the coming years,” CMHC said. “The proportion of elderly households who sell their property is elevated only in relatively advanced age groups.”

CMHC also found that the sell rate for households aged 75 and over has been trending downward since the early 1990s, falling by approximately 6%s over the last 30 years (from 41.6% to 36%).

“If sell rates hold steady in the future, we’ll need to wait until the aging of the Canadian population is more advanced before we see a truly significant proportion of elderly households list their properties for sale,” CMHC said.

What type of housing do Canadian seniors prefer the most?

CMHC found that condominiums, in particular, are becoming more popular with Canadian home owners as they age.

“These units generally have less living space than houses and need less maintenance,” CMHC said.

In 2011, among owners in the 65-69 age group, 12.3% were reported to have condos, while the remaining 87.7% had single-family homes, income properties, or other dwelling types. Fast forward a decade later, of the same cohort (aged 75-79 at that point), 17.4% had condos.

The movement of aging households to condominiums was also more prominent in Vancouver and Toronto compared to the rest of the country, CMHC said.