The majority of Canadians 80.5% now feel that low-interest rates are harming the real estate market rather than helping it.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting provincial school and economic lockdowns, have been a unique time for the Canadian housing market. As people remained indoors amid mandated stay-at-home orders, the concept of home became more than just a roof over our heads, expanding to include the workplace, school, workout space, and entertainment centre, according to a report from Zoocasa.
This has driven unprecedented sales and price growth over the course of 2020 and 2021; according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national sales spiked 235% between April 2020 and March 2021, pushing the average home price up by 44%.
New buying trends that accounted for lockdown lifestyle need to be emerged, such as the desire for at-home office space, green space, and accessibility to delivery services. As more people worked remotely, housing demand boomed in smaller cities and towns, fueling urban flight.
However, now that lockdown measures have largely lifted across Canada it’s apparent these pandemic-driven trends are starting to shift. Buyer urgency has clearly subsided as the July CREA data reveals sales are now dipping below year-ago levels, and the pace of price growth is starting to calm on a monthly basis.
According to the survey results, Canadians are considerably more likely to feel home prices in suburban areas and smaller towns have increased at unsustainable levels; a strong majority of 77.2% of respondents agreed, which is a 25.4% increase from when this question was asked in February 2021.
Overall tight market conditions are top of mind – when asked about the main areas of concern when purchasing a home, respondents indicated affordability, engaging in a bidding war, and timing the market were the top three.
To find out, Zoocasa surveyed over 1,400 respondents to get a pulse on their post-lockdown preferences regarding desirable home characteristics, housing affordability, and the ability to work from home. The findings were then compared to like-for-like responses collected in February 2021 – amid a record-breaking real estate market – to gauge how feelings have changed from during to after lockdown measures.