Seismic, Demographic, Geographic, Real Estate Trends

Jason Upton

Since the outbreak of “lockdown culture”, starting early 2020, people’s lives have been dramatically changed.  While forced upon us, many have worked to find a positive benefit from this massive shift.  

We all remember being told 20 years ago that because of technological innovation, doctors would be performing surgery from their beach house online.  While we never saw that happen yet (thank heaven) , we have moved faster to a remote work situation in the last two years than the previous 20 years combined.  This occurred, not only because it was required, but also because we now have the technology and bandwidth that we lacked before.

So how does look how that affect real estate?

We have seen an exodus from the big cities to not only the suburbs, but also the rural and remote ones. This is the crux of the metastate – how real estate is affected by technology (and vice versa). As I write this, I look out the window at a quarter million square foot office complex, just outside Boston that is currently 100 per cent vacant, not one tenant but on the open market for lease.

My View Of The Vacant Boston Office Building

As we become more comfortable with Covid not going anywhere soon, corporations have started discussing employees coming back to such offices and the response is resounding – no thank you. In fact, in one 150 person corporation with an office near Toronto, 95 per cent of the employees asked, did not want to return.  Maybe it’s a health risk or maybe that’s a convenient excuse. It doesn’t matter, the change is here.

As these small rural and remote communities see an influx in migration, they will experience renewed economic, societal, and cultural benefits – which will in turn grow these communities into vibrant neighbourhoods.

Take the community of Rossland in the West Kootenays, British Columbia, small mountain community of 4,000 people.

Rossland

Rossland had a total of 121 sales in 2019, this grew to 156 sales in 2021. It may not sound like a lot but that’s a 28 per cent increase.  Grand Forks,  a slightly larger Kootenay community had sales of 317 in 2019, which grew to 456 in 2021, that’s a whopping 44 per cent increase.

Small rural communities aren’t the only ones experiencing growth, the medium sized cities throughout Canada also have.  

In London, Ontario, a medium sized city of 425,000, housing and construction have boomed.  In one sector of London, London North, sales vaulted up 16 per cent in volume from 2019 to 2021. 

London, Ontario – North Neighborhood

Keep in mind, these increases happened during 2021 – a year where we were told to stay home!  

It is likely we will see even more growth in these communities in coming years. The millennial generation is now larger in number than the baby boomer generation and, don’t forget, they changed the world with their numbers and influence. So, look for more and even greater change coming. Millennials treasure quality of life and breaking their back, working 60 hour weeks to afford to pay a $1 million plus mortgage is not something they strive for.

For them It’s all about for more balance.

These more affordable suburban, rural and remote communities offer affordable living provide a higher quality of living and, with the innovations in technology, it’s much more plausible.

How can you blame them?

Jason

Aedis Appraisals Ltd operates throughout rural and remote communities throughout British Columbia, Ontario, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

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