It had been years since Western Investor conducted a survey of our readers but, with the advent of our wider distribution, digital edition and other online services, we asked our readers a number of questions this year to find where we – and they – stood in the commercial real estate environment.
We are pleased and rather flattered with the result.
The online survey revealed our readers are more loyal, wealthy, diverse and active in real estate investment than even we suspected.
We also discovered that our readership is dominated not by real estate agents but by real estate investors. As well, the survey revealed that our actual print readership is much higher than our distribution numbers: each copy, on average, is both well read and passed along to at least five others.
The survey, conducted this March, painted a fairly clear profile of western Canadian real estate investors as readers of Western Investor, with some surprises.
For instance, nearly 25 per cent of our readers are female, well above the ratio in our last survey a decade ago.
The average age of readers was about what we expected, with a slight majority aged 45 to 54 years, but we are encouraged that 17 per cent were aged 18 to 34 years, an indication that a young generation is very interested in commercial real estate.
Our readers are also an educated group: 42 per cent have a university degree, with 7 per cent holding a post graduate degree, and 17.5 per cent hold a professional designation. All respondents have some post-secondary education.
While just over 2 per cent of respondents reported an annual income in excess of $750,000, the largest group, 44 per cent, earned more than $100,000 a year.
Our readers are very engaged in real estate, the survey found. More than 54 per cent said they plan to purchase an investment property in the next 12 months. Of these, nearly a quarter (24.4 per cent) said they plan to spend from $1 million to $2.5 million on an acquisition; 13.3 per cent plan to spend from $3 million to $5 million; and 11.1 per cent said they were eyeing real estate investments worth from $10 million to $100 million. In all, 84.4 per cent were shopping for income-producing property.
The vast majority said they have read Western Investor for at least 10 years, and half said they spend 30 minutes or more going through each issue.
Thank you to all who responded to our questions.
Our entire staff is humbled and honoured to be addressing such an intelligent and engaged audience each month in Western Investor.