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Rising housing costs in Canada’s major housing markets are leading more and more Millennials to look outside the urban centres they previously aspired to own homes in.

“We’re now seeing Millennials looking beyond the city for their housing needs, particularly as they start thinking about their needs for the future, like having more space to raise a family,” says Pat Giles, TD’s vice president of real estate secured lending, in a statement.

“As a result, many are choosing the suburbs to either make the move to a new home or upsize from their current one, a shift from just a few years ago when city living was this generation’s preference,” he adds.

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Giles’ insights are gleaned from a recent TD-commissioned Environics Research Group survey of 1,901 Canadians between the ages of 25 and 69. Some 761 of respondents were Millennials aged 25 to 34, and of these 64 percent are open to the suburban life if it means owning a home that satisfies current needs or future goals, while 33 percent favoured city living.

Affordability was the most common factor motivating the Millennial flight to the suburbs, with 64 percent citing it. However, outdoor space and more living room followed closely at 63 percent and 62 percent, respectively.

It’s not just location that Millennials are willing to compromise on to achieve homeownership dreams: 58 percent say they’d eat out less, 56 percent would shop less often, and half would trim entertainment expenses. However — seemingly at odds with an apparent willingness to move outside the city — just 27 percent of Millennials would take on a longer commute for a suburban dream home.

Overall, homebuying aspirations were strong, with eight in 10 Millennials having ownership goals. “Although homes in today’s housing market cost much more than they used to, the desire to own the right home hasn’t wavered, especially for Millennials,” says Giles.

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