The dream of homeownership is even further out of reach for Canadians now than it was at the height of the pandemic, a new poll from Scotiabank found.
The bank found that twice as many Canadians are putting their plans to buy a home on hold in today's market compared to the extremely uncertain economy of 2020. Of those surveyed for the poll, 43% said they were holding off on plans to buy a home -- a sharp jump up from the 33% in 2021 and 20% in 2020. This bump in hesitation comes amidst the skyrocketing cost of living Canadians are experiencing, with everything from the price of gas to the cost of groceries jumping significantly.
"It's no surprise that a perfect storm made up of the rising cost of living, housing supply shortages, and increased demand has caused Canadians to feel like homeownership is out of reach," said John Webster, head of real rstate and secured lending at Scotiabank. "It's important that Canadians know that they're not alone. Many others are going through the same thing, and it's why more people are looking for sound advice from a trusted source."
According to the poll, millennials in particular are the most discouraged about their ability to afford a home, with more than half -- 56% -- saying the current economic environment has negatively impacted their finances, putting homebuying plans on ice. A whopping 90% of Canadians aged 18-34 believing home prices will only continue to increase over the next year, and interestingly, 62% of this age group say they are waiting for housing prices to come down before buying a home -- something that has not been in the forecast from many market experts.
The number of Canadians moving away from major cities continued to increase, with 35% reporting doing so in 2022 versus 29% in 2021. This trend is most prevalent among younger Canadians, with roughly half considering moving out of the city to be able to afford larger homes.
With moving off the table for most Canadians, many are choosing to renovate their existing homes instead. Of those surveyed, 59% said they're choosing to renovate rather than buy -- up just slightly from 56% in 2020.