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Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2020 – a Useful Review by PwC Canada

By February 10, 2020July 3rd, 2024No Comments

One month into 2020, the year is still young, but already changes might be coming to Canadian real estate trends.

While some trends can be impossible to predict, others come with advance warning — such as PwC Canada’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate® report for 2020.

Every year, PwC looks at real estate trends in Canada and the U.S. for the 12 months ahead. What’s in store for 2020 and how can you adapt? Read on…

  1. Real-estate-as-a-service

The customer experience is always shifting, and 2020 is no exception according to PwC. Trends such as co-working, co-living, and the like are growing — particularly the need for purpose-built rental.

Some other customer-centric trends include:

  • Suburbs expanding to include more urban amenities as city-dwellers move for more affordable home prices.
  • Smaller retail store footprints (yet more need for warehousing space for online shipping orders).
  • Solutions that make use of underutilized or multi-purpose space, such as hotels.

How to adapt to this trend: Keep the customer experience front-of-mind and look for out-of-the-box ways to address consumer needs. While traditional real estate is still alive and well, the potential for more creative real estate solutions is blooming — and your property tools can help you find them.

Use features like Demographics Reports, Property Searches, and Neighbourhood Sales to understand consumer behaviour in your area and beyond and tap into emerging needs and habits.

  1. The rise of PropTech and paperless real estate

Digital transformation is a buzzword, but it’s a buzzword for a reason. Many processes that have traditionally been paper-based can now be completed online.

As the real estate industry evolves, digital-first is becoming increasingly prevalent. This is true both for residential real estate and in opportunities for your own business.

Featured trends include:

  • Smart home features and building systems that promote energy efficiency.
  • Virtual site tours and open houses.
  • Robotics in the construction industry.
  • Paperless processes, such as digital signatures.

How to adapt to this trend: Start by looking at your own processes. Are there any that could be digitized? For instance, if you are still requesting condo status certificates by fax, it’s time to upgrade! Also look at tools such as aerial imagery, automated valuation models, and online reports. These can save a lot of time and money, particularly at the start of a deal.

As for consumer PropTech trends, understand what your customer base is looking for and what is important to them. Stay on top of new construction builds and unique features that may appeal to your base.

  1. Opportunities for investment

PwC also identified areas of particular interest for developers and investors in 2020, including:

  • Warehousing and fulfillment centres close to population centres and transportation routes.
  • Mid-priced apartments for multi-family living.
  • Transit-oriented development — PwC reports that in Montreal, one express transit project will spur about $5 billion in real estate development along the route.
  • Senior housing — especially options with security, high-end amenities, and active lifestyle features.

These opportunities were identified primarily in the large Canadian real estate markets: Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

How to adapt to this trend: The same property tools you use to find traditional properties can be used to find alternatives too. Land title data will reveal neighbourhood demographics, dwelling types, vital property information (like the legal owners), and more. You can use this to find opportunities before they even hit the market.

See all of PwC Canada’s real estate trend predictions for 2020 in the full report:

What trends do you think we’ll see this year? Share with us on social media. GeoWarehouse is on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

Our property tools help real estate professionals adapt to the latest trends, market changes, and beyond. If you’re a member of a real estate board, you might already have access. Contact your local board for details.

If you’re not already a subscriber, become one today! Contact sales by calling 1-866-237-5937 or visiting