As prices in many Canadian housing markets have increased sharply since the start of the pandemic, it should be no surprise that some would-be buyers are looking to buy a new home in unconventional manners, a new poll found. 

One in three Canadians homebuyers said they are considering so-called “workarounds” in order to buy a home, according to a new Leger poll commissioned by real estate brokerage Re/Max. That includes renting out a portion of their primary residence, pooling finances with friends or family to come up with sufficient funds, or even living in a shared space with neighbours.

Roughly two-in-five respondents (42 per cent) listed affordability as their main barrier to entering the real estate market, a four per cent increase from last year’s results.

"It's promising to see Canadian buyers deploying their ingenuity to be able to buy a home,” said Elton Ash, regional executive vice president at Re/Max of Western Canada, in a release. “But we must address the urgency of the underlying affordability problems, which are predominantly systemic."

“While we wait for a nationally and municipally supported housing strategy based on an aggressive goal to boost our national inventory of affordable housing, there are regions across the country, especially in Western Canada, that remain accessible to first-time buyers looking to break into the market.”

Just over one-quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said their salary isn't high enough as a barrier to homeownership, while 18 per cent of people surveyed cite the fear of rising interest rates. The same amount opt to remain on the sidelines over fears of becoming "house poor".

Those seeking more affordable markets would do well to look outside of Ontario. The poll highlights St. John’s, Nfld. as the most affordable market year-over-year, with an average selling price of $307,619.

Winnipeg and Regina are also relatively flat compared to one year ago, with the average selling prices for homes in those markets below $350,000.