Photo: Lending Memo

There are certain benefits that are typically reserved for the older among us: seniors’ discounts, pension payouts, and retirement, to name a few.

But there’s a less obvious perk that seems to come with age, at least in one Canadian province. The older Ontarians are, the fewer real estate-related concerns they have, according to a Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) survey released earlier this week.

“The needs of consumers evolve as they enter different phases of life and therefore their concerns about buying and selling change too,” said Kelvin Kucey, RECO’s deputy registrar of regulatory compliance, in a statement.

The survey, which drew answers from 800 Ontarians aged 18 and up who either bought a home within the past two years or have plans to do so in the next two, addressed a variety of real estate topics, from market crashes to affordability, to gauge consumers’ market outlook.

It found that respondents over 55 years of age were generally the most comfortable with the process of buying a home — 95 per cent were confident in their knowledge of how to do this — and the least shaken by economic factors. For instance, only 15 per cent of these seasoned respondents cited their ability to make mortgage payments as a concern.

Conversely, affordability was at the top of the younger demographic’s worries. Some 60 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 were unsure of whether or not they can afford a mortgage, and 84 per cent are concerned about being able to afford the home they actually want.

Though Ontarians in the 35 to 54 age range didn’t mirror the Zen-like outlook of seniors, they had fewer housing concerns than those 34 and under. What keeps them up at night? Their biggest concern, with 57 per cent citing it, has to do with how long it takes to sell their home when they put it on the market. Meanwhile, a little over half are worried about a housing bubble bursting.

Even when it comes to the threat of a dramatic drop in home prices, boomers and seniors are relatively laissez faire compared to other demographics. Just less than half who responded to the survey are concerned about a correction, the smallest share seen in all demographics, said RECO.

That’s not to say Ontario residents aged 55 aren’t don’t have anything to worry about. “Almost seven in 10 boomers and seniors are concerned about getting the most value from their current home,” the survey found.

All things considered, that’s not such a bad problem to have.

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