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Pandemic has changed what we want in a home

By: Harry Callaghan
Posted: January 12, 2021 08:32

Almost half of Manitobans want space for exercise and recreation

Image: Canva

The pandemic has changed what Manitobans want in their homes - this according to a new survey from the Probe Research commissioned by the Manitoba Real Estate Association.

"What we are seeing is the pandemic has had a significant impact on the features people are looking for in a home. Space for exercise and recreation is now higher on the priority list," said MREA 2021 President Stewart Elston. " Manitobans do not want to compromise their healthy lifestyles. Instead, almost half of Manitoba residents want a dedicated space to exercise in their home."

Homes with a yard are also very high on the list of desired amenities. Almost one in four Manitobans (23%) said having a property with a yard is now a 'much higher' priority. Women and younger adults aged 18-34 are more likely to prioritize space for exercise and recreation and having a yard.  

According to the survey, 55% of Manitobans living in multi-unit buildings say that being close to parks or green spaces is more important now because of the pandemic. In addition, 38% of Manitobans say living in a detached home is now a higher priority. 

"Manitobans are spending more time at home and during the spring lockdown many of us started our own gardens and planning new outdoor living spaces," said Elston. "Outdoor living space nearby has never been more important." 

A recent report by Angus Reid revealed that one in five Canadians started gardening this past year and two-thirds were significantly influenced by the pandemic.

Elston noted extra space for a home office is a higher priority now for 44% of Manitobans. When many businesses transitioned their employees to remote working, some people found themselves without a proper space to do their job. However, Manitobans are resourceful, and we have seen kitchen tables, closets, and bedroom corners carved into new work coves, he said.

Although necessary for the short term, these make-shift environments are not ideal for long term working. Manitobans, especially women between the ages of 18 and 34, now place a larger priority on having a dedicated extra room in their home to work uninterrupted from day-to-day responsibilities. 

"We are fortunate Manitoba's housing market is relatively affordable compared to other parts of the country and the amenities Manitobans seek are available in many properties on the market," said Elston. "As Manitobans' priorities shift, the real estate industry must continue to evolve to help homebuyers achieve their resolutions in 2021 and after the Covid-19 pandemic." 

Between November 24 and December 4, a random and representative sampling of 1,000 adults residing in Manitoba was conducted by Probe Research on behalf of MREA. 

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