For my Capstone Project, I will focus on the user and demographic of my furniture system towards Millennials within the housing market of Toronto. I choose Toronto because it is a dense city close to me that I can relate through experiencing and seeing what is currently happening in the housing market today. I picked Millennials, not because I am one, but for the reason that in the future Millennials will be the ones who will occupy majority of the Condominiums being developed in Toronto. My chosen demographic was targeted based on my extensive research and for the lifestyle I want to design for.
Toronto will continue to be a rapidly growing city that will experience accelerated population growth with a limited housing market. The population of Toronto as of 2017 is 2.93 million people and is estimated to grow to 3.9 million by 2041. Toronto's housing market currently is made up of “Condos [which] account for 81.5%” (Toronto Housing Market Analysis, 2019) of all completed housing projects. This projects that condominiums will dominate the housing construction for the future. Housing ownership will become to expensive to afford for those who fall in the average income. This will leave renters stuck waiting to own their own house due to current housing prices. Younger households looking to live in Toronto will be constrained by their limited income. The “median owner household income declined by 15% while average home ownership costs grew 60%” (THMA, 2019).
Due to the growing population and limited space to grow, Toronto is forced to expand upwards through multiple level Condos. Majority of the Condos being built consists of having 1 to 2 bedrooms., which is evident from the bar chart below (Figure 19,THMA, 2019). “Toronto has the largest gap between actual and ideal home size in all of Canada, with 33% of respondents living in properties smaller than 1,000 square feet, and 28% wishing for homes larger than 2,500 square feet.” (Jisa, 2017) Therefore 33% of almost half a million residents live in spaces that are smaller than a thousand square feet. If people want a bigger space they are forced to move outwards of Toronto into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which makes them further away form the city and jobs.
The targeted user of my Furniture system will be Millennials, this is because of future predictions that identify Millennials will be the ones living in small Condominiums in Toronto. This is due to their limited income restricting them from purchasing houses in the rising housing market prices. Millennials are residing in the smaller spaces because of affordability issues, societal inequality, limited options, necessity, and other problems. The small spaces in Toronto are affordable and comfortable for most of the Millennial population because “63% of households are single” (THMA, 2019). This means that they do not need more space and their lone income can focus on paying the mortgage. Small spaces are going to become even smaller in the future and more common within new developments which is why I want to design a small space furniture system that focuses on the new Condominiums being developed in Toronto.
Millennials are defined as anyone born between 1982 and 2004. The characteristics of Millennials are more advanced due to their upbringing being filled with electronics and the social network world. Their lives differ from current homeowners and are optimistic to have to adapt to these small spaces and make them their own.
Jisa, Cristina. “Canadian Home Sizes: A Unique Perspective, Mortgage Aside.” Ratehub.ca Blog, 24 May 2017, www.ratehub.ca/blog/canadian-home-sizes-a-unique-perspective-mortgage-aside/.
Rouse, Margaret, and Matthew Haughn. “What Is Millennials (Generation Y)? - Definition from WhatIs.com.” WhatIs.com, 2014, whatis.techtarget.com/definition/millennials-millennial-generation.
Smetanin, Paul, et al. Toronto Housing Market Analysis. Affordable Housing Office (AHO) of the City of Toronto