Economists and real estate players have claimed for some time now that Canada as a whole is no longer a seller’s market. And now individual Canadian families are beginning to notice it as well. According to the yearly RBC Home Ownership Poll, released on Monday, 36% of Canadians feel the market benefits buyers while 34% feel it benefits sellers.
The poll also revealed that home buyers are moving away from the traditional trend of buying a home with a spouse or partner. 28% of those polled said they plan to purchase a home with family members. 32% claim they wish to purchase a home alone. This isn’t a new trend. The percentage of those looking for home ownership with their spouse or partner has declined in the past few years. Non-traditional trends such as buying a home alone have increased.
“We’re seeing a fundamental contrast in who’s at the buying table,” said Nicole Wells, Vice-President, Home Equity Financing, RBC. “There is a surge in confident, in-control solo home buyers and, on the polar opposite end, those who are saying they can’t do it alone and need the assistance of family.”
More Canadians feeling the financial strain of home ownership
Canadians continue to battle the nationwide housing affordability crisis. Homeowners are forced to spend ever-increasing percentages of their paychecks to cover their housing costs. RBC’s poll shows that the percentage of Canadians living “house-poor” (those that spend over 30% of their income on home ownership costs) is around 39%. This means that four out of ten Canadian homeowners have to stretch out their paychecks. As a result they sacrifice other comforts just to make their monthly mortgage payments.
Having such a high percentage of house-poor homeowners is a cause for concern. Most of them (92%) are quick to admit their situation brings quite a bit of mental stress. However, 47% still believe that home-ownership, even under those circumstances, is worth it.
80% still believe home ownership is a good investment
Much has been said about the difficulty of home ownership in the current market. That is the case even though it’s objectively more balanced. Even so, 8 out of 10 poll participants say that a home or condominium purchase is still a good investment. In fact, two thirds still feel that it makes more sense to buy a home rather than rent.
What about future economic downturns? 71% of participants feel that they are well positioned to endure it, while 63% claim they can weather another increase in interest rates.