Few Canadians Are Being Forced to Sell Their Homes: Survey

The 2024 Home Seller Intentions Survey by Wahi explores the reasons why Canadians are planning to put their homes on the market in the coming years.

Wahi’s 2024 Homebuyer Intentions Survey provides insights into why Canadians are planning on selling their homes in the coming years.

While real estate tends to be all about location, the survey revealed that two of the top three reasons Canadians plan to put their homes on the market came down to size.

The survey, which was conducted online among Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, noted that few Canadians are being forced to sell their homes because they can’t afford them.

Wahi’s 2024 Home Seller Intentions Survey revealed that overall, just one in 10 homeowners (11 per cent) who say they will be selling within the coming five years are doing so at least in part because of financial strain or debt repayments, including on mortgages.

“While it’s a challenging time whenever someone is forced to sell their home, the survey results indicate that this remains relatively uncommon in the Canadian housing market compared to other reasons for selling,” said Wahi CEO Benjy Katchen. “The Bank of Canada’s recent rate cut should also provide some relief for homeowners.”

Image credit: Wahi

According to the survey, among Canadians who expressed home-selling intentions, the leading motivation was downsizing (37 per cent). “The fact that downsizing is a priority for so many home sellers only makes sense given Canada’s aging population,” said Katchen, noting just 1 per cent of downsizers were aged 18 to 34 and 30 per cent were aged 35 to 54. Of home sellers who are downsizing, the majority (69 per cent) were aged 55 and up.

Overall, upsizing (25 per cent) was tied with relocation as the second most popular reason cited for selling, according to the survey. Some 94 per cent of those looking to upsize are 18 to 54 years old, with only 6 per cent of 55+ expressing these intentions.

The survey revealed that some 23 per cent of respondents rank waiting for the right market conditions as the most important factor for getting the best sale price, followed by renovations or repairs (16 per cent), and finding a good realtor (16 per cent).

According to the survey, only 15 per cednt of prospective sellers cite waiting for appealing interest rates as the most important factor.

Much smaller shares of home sellers listed home staging (9 per cent), seasonality (7 per cent), and enhancing curb appeal (7 per cent) as most important.

The survey noted that of the one in four sellers who plan to list due to relocation, the most common reason behind the move is looking for a better quality of life (53 per cent).

Those who live in rural communities are more likely to say they are looking for a better quality of life (62 per cent) than their urban counterparts (51 per cent), according to the survey.


These are the findings of a survey conducted by Wahi on May 10 to 14, 2024, among a representative sample of 1,501 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. 

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