The majority of Canadians say they think it’s better to hold off until next year to buy a home, according to a new survey.
A poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Royal Bank of Canada found that 56 per cent of Canadians would wait until next year to purchase a home despite some forecasts that the country’s housing prices will remain flat this year. The two main reasons cited were the expectation prices will drop (54 per cent) and uncertainty about the economy (47 per cent).
The results come as housing activity in the country’s once-hot markets have shown signs of slowing. In its most recent data release, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported flat sales in March, while Vancouver’s real estate board said sales in the region sank 31.4 per cent year-over-year for the month.
Home prices, however, remain relatively high in both cities. The average price in the Toronto area rose half a percentage point to $788,335 in March, according to TREB data. Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver’s composite benchmark price was sitting at $1,011,200 last month.
Most first-time homebuyers surveyed (56 per cent) by RBC said they might buy sooner – while interest rates remain low – in fear that they might creep higher.
It’s not clear when the Bank of Canada could hike rates, with Governor Stephen Poloz signalling the bank remains cautious on any future increases amid economic uncertainty. Some investors are even betting on a rate cut this year.
The survey results are from an online poll conducted between Jan. 9-21 and Feb. 14-15 among 2,223 Canadian adults.