By Jennifer Lynn Walker
Quebec’s population is aging and, these days, it’s likely our elders will live longer. Almost 20 percent of Quebeckers were retirement age or older in 2016. That number will grow to more than a quarter of the population by 2036, according to the Quebec Institute of Statistics.
Given this trend, families are starting to consider adding an apartment to their home for aging family members. It cuts the overall family housing costs and provides an opportunity for mutual assistance.
Also, these suites can provide an affordable housing option for young family members or for those who have special needs.
Sometimes we do things out of need and not because we are hoping to increase the resale value of our homes. But let’s take a minute to consider the question. Will adding an extra suite to your home pay off when it comes time to sell the house? Will it boost you home’s value?
‘Intergenerational Home’: a new search category on Centris
Centris®, Quebec’s search engine for real estate that has been sold by professional real estate brokers, recently added the term “intergenerational home” to its list of search categories.
The Québec government defines an intergenerational home as a housing concept that enables a family to live with their aging parents in a single-family home. The home is composed of two independent dwellings of different sizes.
Centris analysts say these units most often consist of an addition to the side of the house. Though they can also be an added second story, a converted basement, or an enlarged main floor. The two dwellings share an address, which makes this arrangement different from a house with multiple apartments.
Marie-Claude Giguere, a retirement living specialist who is also a chartered real estate broker and founder of HelpingSeniors.ca, says she doesn’t see a shortage of available housing for senior citizens right now.
Yet, the fact that Centris recently added the category to its website shows there is demand for intergenerational homes.
Market for Intergenerational Homes Growing Slowly
The latest report from the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards, based on transactions from the real estate brokers’ Centris system, says the intergenerational home market has generally performed better than the single-family home market over the past six years. But proportionally, this new market is still pretty small and growing slowly, reaching 3.2 percent of all Quebec’s single family home sales in 2015. Price-wise, the report says the median for intergenerational homes was nine percent higher than that of conventional single-family homes.
Results for sales since January 2018 from the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB) shows intergenerational suites coming up in a large price bracket. From just over a quarter-million to two million dollars, with the median price being $484,000.
The average selling time for an intergenerational home on the island of Montreal in 2017 was 90 days. Whereas a regular home took 74 days to sell.
Considering the specialty of the home, it seems that adding an intergenerational suite will likely make an impact on re-sale value.
That said, the market for these homes seems to be progressing. For the foreseeable future, there will be plenty of aging parents who decide they aren’t ready to make the leap to a retirement residence and children who want to keep their parents close by.