Meet “Henry” – the new target for luxury condo builders

"High earner not rich yet" 18- to 34-year-olds seen as the prime demographic to market high-end condos

Luxury condo developers and others aiming at the high-end consumer market have a new target on their radar: "Henry" – an acronym for young adults who are “high earners, not rich yet,” according to real estate giant Engel & Völkers.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 North Americans born between 1984 and 1999 found the Henrys represents those who have an annual household income of more than $100,000 and the greatest earning potential.

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Among the study’s key findings is that these affluent buyers are slavishly reliant on social media and “influencers” to make purchase decision. The survey found that 98 per cent of the Henry subset rely on social media or a review-based website when making a decision on a product or service provider, and 84 per cent said that influencers have impacted their decision to buy.

The top three indicators of a luxury home as identified by Henrys are finishes (68 per cent); neighbourhood/location (64 per cent); and amenities (57 per cent). The price was a defining factor of luxury in less than half (47 per cent) of respondents, Engel & Völkers found.

“With Henrys poised to become the next generation of wealth, luxury brands must start planning as to how they will service this distinctive demographic,” said Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “Henrys define luxury in terms of quality, and they make purchasing decisions based on brand reputation and word of mouth.”

The findings may be worth more than a catchy acronym. Equifax Canada, in an Ipsos survey released November 7, found that the average credit score of young Canadians is rising while it has declined in all other age groups. A decade ago, the average Equifax score for those aged 18 to 24 was 681. It is 692 today. A credit score above 660 would be considered good by most lenders.

Young people are also more confident in their financial future than their older peers, the survey discovered.

“Financial optimism abounds within the broader group of those aged 18 to 34, of which 82 per cent say they are optimistic about their financial future versus 73 per cent of the general population,” said Julie Kuzmic, director of consumer advocacy at Equifax Canada.

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