As supply remains tight in key regions of the Canadian housing market, a recent CIBC survey finds that most homeowners say the pandemic has not changed their intentions of staying put, with many choosing to use their accumulated savings to renovate their current property rather than list it.
According to CIBC, with only six per cent of homeowners polled saying they planned to sell pre-pandemic, the majority (77 per cent) say the pandemic has not impacted their housing plans. Most (63 per cent) agree that low interest rates haven’t motivated them to sell and upgrade to a bigger home either.
Many homeowners (34 per cent) have renovated their homes over the past year, while a similar number (31 per cent) say they plan to make upgrades in the next twelve months. Of those who have renovated, most (71 per cent) funded this with savings.
“As a potential homebuyer, these results suggest that supply won’t be improving in the near term, which makes it essential to understand what you can comfortably afford within your budget, and work with an advisor before you start looking at homes to have appropriate financing options in place,” says Carissa Lucreziano, Vice-President, CIBC Financial and Investment Advice.
“It’s a positive sign that many homeowners are using cash versus debt to fund renovations – we’re seeing prudent financial behaviour from this group. But whether you’re looking to sell or buy a home, or invest in renovations, these are big decisions that would benefit from the advice of a financial expert.”
For renters, the story has also been more of the same. Half (47 per cent) say they are still unable to own a home due to housing prices, with 34 per cent citing an inability to save for a down payment as the major hurdle. Many (66 per cent) say low interest rates due to COVID-19 have not motivated them to look at purchasing a home with the majority (91 per cent) saying the pandemic has not impacted their ability to pay rent.
Of those who co-habit with family or others, 46 per cent have no immediate plans of moving out, but close to a third (32 per cent) are saving for a down payment.
According to CIBC, a lack of knowledge when it comes to purchasing a home may be contributing to the hesitancy of some potential homebuyers: Four-in-ten (41 per cent) of all the respondents admit they need help understanding all the costs associated with home purchasing, and a similar number (37 per cent) need guidance on obtaining a mortgage in the current environment. A quarter of Canadians (27 per cent) say the fear of a recession/economic uncertainty is impacting their decision to buy or sell a home and 31 per cent claim they will only be able to afford a home with an inheritance or gift from their family.
“It appears for those looking to get into the housing market, financing and a lack of understanding remains an issue. With the help of an advisor, you can get an assessment of your financial capacity for a clear picture of what you can afford as a new homebuyer to achieve the ambition of homeownership,” added Lucreziano.
CIBC reports other key findings include:
- 75% of homeowners have no plans to change their current situation in the next two years.
- Top five renovations undertaken by homeowners in the past 12 months:
- Basic home maintenance: 54%
- Landscaping: 45%
- Bathroom renovations: 32%
- Decorating: 26%
- Kitchen renovations: 24%
- 46% of renters say their lack of owning a home is not related to the “stress test” or B-20 rules.
- 69% of renters would not consider renting with a non-relative to reduce their monthly costs.
- Top reasons that prevented renters from owning property prior to COVID-19 included: inability to save for a down payment (34%); owning property isn’t a goal (32%); and they’d rather rent (30%).