Canadians prepare to re-enter housing market despite economic uncertainty: survey

A recent survey revealed that Canadians continue to be concerned about the state of the economy heading into 2024, however, their patience for well-priced real estate opportunities has begun to dwindle.

The survey, called Dye & Durham’s Canadian Pulse Report for Q4 2023, featured 1,003 Canadian repondents.

It featured trends in the economy, technology and real estate market and was conducted via the online Angus Reid Forum. According to the findings, fewer Canadians say they are planning to wait for house prices and interest rates to decrease before buying a property, regardless of being concerned about the strength of the economy.

According to the survey, only one-in-five Canadians say they plan to wait for purchase prices to drop in 2024, and 21 per cent plan to wait for interest rates to decline. This is down from 24 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in Q3.

The survey revealed that only 20 per cent of Canadians feel better off financially in comparison to last year, down from the 25 per cent who thought so in Q3.

In terms of the number of Canadians who said they are worse off financially in present day rose to 44 per cent in Q4 from 39 per cent in Q3.

The survey noted that high interest rates and inflation have played a role in this, as Canadians are expecting they will need to spend more on groceries, gas, insurance and rent.

According to the survey, Canadians are now more pessimistic about the overall economy. A total of 59 per cent believe there will be a recession in the next 12 months which is considerably higher than 54 per cent who expected as much in Q3.

“Inflation is cooling and interest rates are stabilizing, and with that Canadians are telling us that they have renewed optimism in the outlook for their housing plans,” said Martha Vallance, chief operating officer, Dye & Durham. “It appears that many prospective homebuyers are growing tired of trying to time the market, and pent-up demand could lead to a long-awaited volume rebound for lawyers, realtors and all those that serve real estate interests across the country in 2024.”

The survey revealed that there was an increase in the number of Canadians who say they plan to sell their primary residence and purchase a new one in the next 12 months. The number of Canadians who left the homeownership market to rent but are now planning to re-enter the ownership market in the next 12 months has also increased.

According to the survey, more than half of Canadians expect prices to increase in their areas in the next year, with 16 per cent believing they will increase significantly.

Most Canadians are also skeptical about mortgage rates becoming more manageable, according to the findings, with less than one-in-five saying they are expecting mortgage rates to decrease in the next year.

Additionally, according to the survey, almost half of Canadians think that lawyers and notaries would benefit from incorporating more technology into the services they provide them. Doctors and government services are the service providers that Canadians think would benefit most from greater adoption of technology in the services they provide.

“The role that technology plays in service delivery has moved beyond that of an enabler and an equalizer – it has become an expectation for Canadian consumers,” said David Nash, Chief Product Officer, Dye & Durham. “Skilled providers like notaries and lawyers that find ways to leverage technology to remove friction and improve service delivery will stand out from the pack, building lasting customer preference that will improve their bottom line.”

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