An average price drop of 10%, an enormous increase in listings and record low mortgage rates are all indicators of a buyers market.
Opportunity awaits as two in three (65%) Canadians believe the current real-estate market in Canada is a buyer's market, according to the 16th Annual RBC/Ipsos Reid Housing Poll. Nearly three in ten (27%) say they're 'likely' (9% very/18% somewhat) to purchase a home within the next two years', up 4 points from last year and the largest single-year increase since 2001. But Canadians are split on whether buying conditions will change to be more favourable within the next year, such that it makes more sense to wait until next year (52%) or buy now (48%).
Albertans (35%) are most likely to say they'll buy a home within the next two years, followed by those living in Ontario (30%), British Columbia (26%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (25%), Atlantic Canada (25%), and Quebec (22%).
British Columbians (78%) are the most likely to believe that it's a buyer's market right now, followed by those living in Ontario (73%), Alberta (72%), Atlantic Canada (58%) and Quebec (52%). Only one in three (34%) in Saskatchewan and Manitoba believe the same.
The increase in home-buying intentions appears to be led by the under 35 segment of the population, as 48% say they're 'likely' (18% very/29% somewhat) to purchase a home in the next two years, up 12 points from last year. Renters also see an opportunity to enter the real-estate market, as four in ten (38%) say they're 'likely' (11% very/26% somewhat) to purchase in the next two years.
Overall, most (83%) Canadians are still convinced that buying a house or condominium is a 'good' (34% very/48% somewhat) investment. While this proportion is down 3 points from last year and 8 points from its high of two years ago, it is still well above its low (72%) of 1999.
Among those individuals who intend to buy a home within the next two years, three in ten (28%) say that favourable housing prices are among their reasons for purchasing. A majority (54%) of Canadians believe that housing prices will continue to drop next year (up from 23% last year), compared to 25% who think they will be higher (down from 56%), or 21% who believe that prices will be the same at this time next year (unchanged).
One in ten (14%) homeowners believe their home has lost value within the last two years, but a majority (54%) of these individuals believe the value of their home will recover within 3-5 years, while others believe it will be a shorter time-frame (30%), longer (11%), or never (6%).
Among those individuals who are not intending to purchase a home within the next two years, most (60%) say they've already got a home, but others cite job anxiety (8%) or general concern for current economic conditions (6%) as the reason they're not likely to purchase a home. Three percent (3%) are waiting for prices to stabilize or decrease further.
These are the findings of a poll conducted on behalf of RBC from January 6 to 9, 2009. This online survey of 2,026 Canadian adults was conducted via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The results of these polls are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.
Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls, however, an unweighted probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had the entire adult population of Canada been polled.