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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Whether you are in the market, want to get into the market or thinking of getting out of the market – it is hard to find anyone not talking about real estate.

For most Canadians, it is their largest asset and their most expensive asset so it isn’t surprising people have an opinion and in many cases concern.

In recent years, there have been considerable changes to the real estate landscape from record prices, new rules, taxes and warnings. Adding to this increased competition, affordable challenges and ongoing talks of bubble-like conditions in Canada. So how are we feeling about the real estate market?  

A recent report on Housing Trends in 2017 by Zoocasa, found that 83 per cent of Canadians still feel homeownership is a significant milestone with 67 per cent believing they should own a home by age 35, supported by 34 per cent saying they should own a home before they have children.

Foreign home ownership has been a hot Canadian real estate topic. Over two-thirds support a foreign buyers’ tax – even those who don’t feel foreign buyers have driven up prices in their city.

Both first-time buyers and current owners who aspire to buy again indicate the biggest barrier is affordability. Two of the top three obstacles that respondents of Zoocasa’s survey identified were related to affordability. Fifty-four per cent highlighted rising prices, 39 per cent said finding the right property and 35 per cent referred saving for a down payment.

But it isn’t always about affordability. One third of Canadians are willing to add up to 30 minutes each way to get their dream home with 6 per cent willing to add 60 minutes.

Bottom line – buying a home is stressful, which is understandable when you compare it to planning a vacation, asking your boss for a raise, or even getting married. Competition, affordability, challenges and heavy commentary and warnings of market bubble conditions have Canadians feeling split on their outlook. The survey found only 34 per cent feel confident in the housing market, 29 per cent are not confident and 37 per cent not sure.

You want to get this right, and then hope when future changes are implemented to slow things down, you don’t wind up having a bigger mortgage than your home is worth.