Houses priced well below average and spanning over 1,000 sq. ft are just two of the most common criteria the average Canadian home-seeker is looking for right now.
A new report from Point2Homes took a look at what the average Canadian home-seeker is searching for when they browsed homes online in 2022, and the results are extremely interesting. The biggest standout from the report overall is that buyer interest is far from aligning with current market conditions.
Logically, the majority of homebuyers wouldn't be able to purchase a home for well below the average market price, but that's exactly what they're looking for. Although Canada's national average home price sits at $640,000, Point2's data found that 75.56% of searches were for homes below $600,000. Of those searches, the most sought-out price range was $200,000-$300,000 -- less than half the national average home price.
The second-most searched for price range was $300,000-$400,000, still well below the national average.
"Although this increased budget opens slightly more housing opportunities, it doesn’t necessarily come with more comfortable living space (since $300,000 doesn’t even cover 500 square feet in many major cities)," the report reads. "Rather, the lower budget ranges speak volumes to the buyer’s perception of affordability in today’s housing market."
Even in the country's most expensive markets, below-average-price homes were the most sought out. In Toronto where the average home price is just over $1M, nearly half of home searches were for properties below $700,000. And in Vancouver, where the average home price is even higher, 82% of all searches were for homes less than $1M.
There appeared to be a further disconnect between budgets and desired homes when it came to the types of properties home-seekers were looking for. They were largely interested in houses ranging from 1,000-2,000 sq. ft with more than three bedrooms and two or three bathrooms. Garages were highly desired, as were waterfront views and pools. Interestingly, amenities related to fitness or hardwood flooring ranked lowest -- more of a "nice to have" feature but not a dealbreaker, the report says.
As for who's searching for homes, Millennials made up the majority of online house-seekers in Canada with almost 44% of all searches performed by people 24-44 years old. Of these, young professionals in their late 20s to early 30s made up more than half, something the report attributes to this age group wanting stability after getting married or reaching a financial goal that would allow them to purchase a home.
"Sources place most of them as first-time buyers with an income bracket that tends to reflect their position at the start of a career," the report reads.