Millennials Seek New Housing Opportunities

Canada’s millennials are transforming the housing landscape in their search for new kinds of homes.

And they pack a big punch financially. According to a report by CBC News, more than 50% of 25 to 35-year-old Canadians own a home, compared to 36% of U.S. millennials. The research, from TD Economics, says that Canadian millennials have less student debt, better jobs and higher incomes than their U.S. peers. What do millennials want it comes to housing? The answer is: Pretty much everything. And a U.S. innovation called an “Urby” may suit the bill.

The Urby is a mixed-use residential development that brings a little bit of city, a little bit of community and a little bit of entertainment to a little apartment. Emphasizing “New Urbanist” principles such as walkable neighbourhoods and access to public transportation, Urby developments are designed for urban professionals.

Key to Urby projects such as the Urban Ready Life (URL) complex in Staten Island, N.Y. is providing opportunities for social interaction. URL common areas offer chances for interpersonal connections between residents by including lobby coffee shops, communal kitchens and a cultural director. Sounds ideal for this work-hard, play-hard generation, and Canadian developers are watching the progress of projects such as Urbys, the tiny house movement and co-op housing developments.

So far, however, they’re just watching: Notes Steve Jackson, program manager for the Cooperative Housing Association of Canada: “It’s unfortunate that there are no major programs to develop new co-op housing … We know that a lot of millennials do see co-op housing as a wonderful option.”

Redecorating Your Child’s Room? Start Here

Redecorating a child’s room is enjoyable. Figuring out creative ways to make your kids’ spaces whimsical yet functional is a fun design challenge. And watching their faces light up when it’s all done? Priceless.

Home design website Houzz conducted a survey of users who have “recently completed, are working on or are planning a home project with kids in mind.” The results provide an interesting look at what’s currently trending in the world of children’s rooms. If you’re about to embark on creating a special room for a child, keep the following in mind:

  • Close to 70% of respondents said their kids’ rooms have themes. The most popular looks, in order: nature, animals, sports, and princesses. But note: kids grow up quickly and tastes change just as quickly. Today’s trendy decor may look dated tomorrow.
  • Functionality and maintenance are top priorities. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they wanted a space that was easy to clean and maintain, and 64% said they needed a functional setup. Be sure to incorporate washable and durable materials, and include labeled storage boxes and bins.
  • Blue reigns supreme. Fifty-nine percent said blue is the dominant colour for kids’ rooms, followed by white, gray, green, and pink.
  • The cost of redecorating a kid’s room varies. Of respondents who had completed their project, one-third spent $1,000 or less. Establish a budget before starting; it’s easy to get carried away with cute decor and playful features. And unlike adults, kids don’t notice the difference between the more expensive option and a more affordable one.
  • Nearly 70% of participants cited clutter as a challenge. Make toy management a priority in your kids’ rooms. Oversized bins in fun colours and/or closet storage systems are key to keeping toys and “stuff” out of sight and out of mind.

Finally, involve your kids in the decisions. After all, it is their room.