Canadians believe in housing more than the economy: RBC

Jessy Bains
·2 min read
The pandemic has led families to look outside of their cities for more space (Getty)

The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us once again that the economy is not the stock market, or even real estate markets, as each break records as job losses mount and businesses shutter.

A new poll by RBC found only 18 per cent of respondents said the economy is strong, while 45 per cent believed in the strength of the housing market. Even as the second wave brings stricter lockdowns and higher unemployment, less than half (43 per cent) said they’re concerned about its effect on real estate.

The results also show a strong desire for home ownership, even as Canadians are increasingly priced out of the country’s largest cities. More than half (56 per cent) said they want to buy a home with their spouse or partner and 51 per cent prefer a detached house, which is well ahead of second place condos at 18 per cent. That’s a trend that played out through most of the pandemic, with detached home sales prices far outpacing condos.

With that said, 59 per cent said home prices are unaffordable, and have an average budget of $445,237. That’s below CREA’s national average price of $603,000 and the average condo price in Toronto or Vancouver. Almost half (45 per cent) recognized that upsizing would mean moving out of the city they currently live in — another trend that’s played out in the form of an urban exodus that has fuelled a suburban and cottage country housing boom.

“Many Canadians continue to be financially resilient in the face of the pandemic, and this has carried over into the real estate market,” said RBC’s Amit Sahasrabudhe, in a release.

“Seen as a pillar of stability, Canadians continue to view home ownership as a worthwhile pursuit and are willing to shift their priorities in order to find affordable property within their budget.”

Even though 60 per cent said homes in their area are overvalued, 80 per cent said real estate is a good investment and 52 per cent expect prices to only go up in the immediate future.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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