Rising interest rates and deteriorating affordability have led a record-high number of Canadians to believe that they will never be able to buy a home.

A new survey from Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) found that 33% of non-homeowners don't think they will ever be able to purchase a primary residence -- a "record-high" number, MPC said. The figure grew 8% in six months, and was up 15% from a year ago.

Only 23% of non-owners plan to buy a home within the next five years, and just 15% intend to buy in the next two years.

Timing Of Purchase Of Primary Residence

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"Canada's housing market has undergone a dramatic shift since the middle of 2022, with home prices down and interest rates up significantly," MPC's 2022 Year-End Consumer Survey reads.

Said rapid rise in interest rates -- from 0.25% in March 2022 to 4.50% in January 2023 -- is a growing concern. Nearly 60% of survey respondents said they were anxious about inflation and their family's finances -- a 20% increase in just six months.

Nearly 6% said they are having trouble making their monthly mortgage payments; the figure rises to 14% amongst first-time buyers. Twenty percent of respondents said they'd struggle to afford their mortgage if their payments increased by 10% or less.

Mortgage Increase That Would Cause Payment Difficulties

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Oxford Economics, the company that conducted the survey on behalf of MPC, believes that the residential mortgage market will remain under "intense downward pressure" until mid-2024.

The firm expects a 30% peak-to-trough decline in housing prices by year-end 2023. Despite the decline, roughly half of which has already occurred, higher mortgage costs have led to a "broad deterioration of affordability " across Canada.

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