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Smart Cities: What They'll Look Like and How They'll Change the Real Estate Market

March 19, 2019
3 mins
A young woman smiles towards the camera while walking with her phone in her hand

Homebuyers consider a number of qualities when scouring Canadian geographic locations for a city to plant roots in. A few of the more compelling criteria for aspiring homeowners include walkability, public transportation options, the quality of schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and nightlife— and to a large extent, safety. More tech-savvy tire-kickers relish the level of futurism in urban areas, which presents the opportunity to connect mobile devices with networks of intelligent systems powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

What Attracts New Classes of Homebuyers?

Let's face it. With the advent of the digital age, convenience weighs heavily into the buying decisions of city-dwelling Millennials and Generation Xers. Those new waves of both property owners and upscale renters, with leisure time at a premium, desire more information on the world around them and those wants extend to real-time data on perhaps an available parking spot or an open table in a bistro across town.

Enter the smart city.

What Is a Smart City?

Across the globe and into the Great White North, city planners, administrators, and business owners are embarking on a quest to satisfy residents' appetites for technology with some forward-thinking strategies and systems of their own. The beneficiaries of smart city initiatives come from two sides of the fence: consumers craving more connectivity and municipalities seeking streamlined operations and efficiencies that help trim budgets— and attract homebuyers and business investment.

While the presence of self-driving cars and buses might project a little further down the road, the wait hasn't stopped Vancouver and other officials in metro areas from planning for the inevitable. The city is currently accepting requests for proposals from global tech innovators to evaluate which company might be best-suited to help smooth the flow of traffic, shrinking the number of automobile mishaps and reducing the carbon footprint along the way.

How Do Smart Cities Function?

As an example, If you've ever driven around the block 17 times searching for parking in Toronto, the smart city concept might hold a large quantity of appeal. Censors placed in spots and stalls along Canadian cityscapes transmit real-time data to smartphones and vehicular navigation systems, instantly letting drivers know where open spaces exist. Combine parking problem abatement with intelligent systems that control the flow and regulate the movements of both pedestrian and motorized entities, and it's easy to see how technology can reduce commute times and conserve energy.

Final Thoughts

The overall positive impact on urban Canadian real estate markets from smart city endeavours will unfold gradually. As webs of integrated systems grow, so too will demand for housing in big cities. That trend helps boost home values in both luxury and affordable market segments as companies concurrently fill job openings for entry-level and skilled positions alike. Through newfound efficiencies in both services and logistics, governmental leaders can look to redirect savings toward infrastructure improvements: roads, bridges, parks, and commercial zones— to name a few targets. As technological change forges ahead, mild resistance to change may mount and the occasional software bug will require fixing but it's difficult for business leaders, politicians and residents to deny the social, environmental, and operational benefits of welcome progress.

Even as our homes become smarter, they still need protection. In fact, increased financial investment may even require a bit more. Shop for affordable, comprehensive home insurance on today!


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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