For decades there have been labels placed on groups of people largely based on social generational groupings according to when they were born. Some of the more common ones are:
- The Silent Generation born between the 1920s and 1940s;
- The Baby Boomers born between the 1940s and 1960s;
- Generation X (Gen X) born between the 1960s and 1980s;
- Generation Y (Gen Y) born between the 1980s and 2000s; and
- Generation Z (Gen Z) born after the early 2000s.
Each of these groups shared, or were exposed to, changing societal and macro-economic circumstances such as the Great Depression (1929-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the post-World War Baby Boom, the Hippie Cultural movement of the 1960s, dramatic inflation and interest rates in the 1980s, the end of the Cold War the birth of the World Wide Web in 1991, and the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the financial crisis of 2008.
While no labels can accurately describe all people in each generational groups, some commonly held views were:
- The Silent Generation – enduring the hardship and austerity of the Great Depression and the Second World War;
- Baby Boomers – A dramatic increase in birth rate and growing prosperity and optimism following the end of the Second World War;
- Gen X – the introduction of the term “latchkey kids”, increased rates of divorce and an increased focus on two income earners in families along with a “what’s in it for me” focus;
- Gen Y – many being raised in many two income families and being exposed to increasing levels of technology, connectivity, and instant gratification expectations; and
- Gen Z currently in development.
Leaving aside for discussion of the Silent Generation (retired from the work force) and Gen Z (about to enter the work force), there are some interesting casual observations associated with the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y as it relates to spending on luxury homes and lifestyles.
Many Baby Boomers are nearing retirement or have recently retired and a number of them are taking on debt to buy luxury homes. Few were born into money after the hard years lived by their parents and it took most many years to accumulate wealth which they are now enjoying. Some are upsizing to buy homes with room for elderly relatives or adult children. Others are “rightsizing” to large living spaces on fewer levels and often on a single level as they look to the future.
A number of Gen X are buying luxury homes from the local real estate market area comparably priced to those being purchased by their parents. Since many were raised in two income families and they enjoyed standards of living higher than that of their parents, this is not surprising. Many buy based on their newly achieved levels of professional success and financial standing. The “what’s in it for me” sometimes morphs into “look at me” for what some term the “me generation”.
Gen Y spenders includes those who have been given money from parents and grandparents and those who have not been given money to buy their first homes. When given money they often buy anywhere from 2 to 15 times as much as those who are not given money. This generation has not yet experienced the housing downturns and high interest rates experienced in the 1980s and 1990s. As one person put it, all they have known is “cheap money”. This generation often choose accommodation such as condos in the downtown core of large urban areas such as Vancouver and Toronto. What some term the “instant gratification” generation have “instant luxury” expectations requiring new, quality homes (or substantially updated and move in ready) with built in luxury features. The expectations of this generation are also showcased in the reality TV show called “MY HOUSE – YOUR MONEY”
No matter which generation is buying luxury homes in all of the local communities in the City of Courtenay or Comox, they are still in demand. Whether it be traditional luxury homes in well-established neighbourhoods, or newly built homes or condos, there are enough people in each of these market areas to sustain the demand for the foreseeable future. The Comox Valley offers these types of luxury housing options. Drop by for a visit and talk to Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty to find your next upscale Comox Valley home.