Homebuying Intentions Spike Among Canadians

By Ben Hamill - February 20 2021
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Homebuying Intentions Spike Among Canadians

Canadians are more eager now to own their own homes than ever before. And it’s a need to “nest” that’s being driven by a global crisis and by more and more people working from the office at home.

The irony is obviously how more and more rental tenants are jumping on the bandwagon of own-home ownership in a time marked by unemployment and financial uncertainty in the face of a pandemic. And even though a mass urban exit has long been well-documented, it would appear as if home ownership has become even more crucial now that the majority of Canadians are spending the better part of their days and weeks staying put. 

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Demand Outweighing Supply

As indicated by the results of a survey from Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) released earlier this week, the number of non-owners now looking to buy a house in the coming year has rocketed to 27 per cent – this compared to the 7 per cent pre-crisis.

Definitely playing a role also are record-low interest rates. As interest rates continue to offset the onslaught of higher prices, more and more people are discovering their affordability issues to be a thing of the past, said MPC chief economist Will Dunning in response to the surprising results of the survey.

The unavoidable effect, however, is that demand now far outweighs supply, which is now leading to a spiked price growth across the country’s again-booming property market. And according to director of content at real estate site Zolo, Romana King, all of the above seems to largely have been the result of suddenly shifting priorities. Instead of viewing a home as a place to retire to at the end of a productive day at the office, more and more people are discovering a home to be the place where, essentially, “everything happens”.

About That Kitchen

The “how to use” of the home has shifted rather drastically too. According to a homebuyer’s preferences survey conducted by Zolo in January, a major shift has taken place in terms of how people now want to use their homes. Instead of focusing largely on cosmetics and after-hours entertainment value and amenities, homeowners now want to improve those things that have a direct impact on the quality of life at home.

While homeowners in previous years spent a lot of time conjuring up new ideas for a nice view or how to go about creating an a more open and spacious layout, they’re now mostly interested in practical solutions that tailor to more time spent with family members in a shared space. Also interesting is that more and more people are showing an intense interest in working towards a more updated and tailor-designed kitchen, which is something King says is indicative once again of the kitchen being the true heart of the family environment.

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