Quarter of Canadians expect to buy a house soon, poll suggests
Keith Norbury – Yourhome.ca
A third of Canadian renters expect to buy a home within the next two to three years, according to survey results that pollster Allan Gregg presented earlier this month to delegates at the 37th annual Canadian Home Builders’ Association conference.
Meanwhile, 24 per cent of Canadian homeowners also expect to sell their current home and buy another one within that time frame, according to other recent polling data that Gregg presented.
Together, those figures indicate that 26 per cent of adult Canadians expect to buy a house in the near future.
“That is a very, very big number,” Gregg said.
The house-buying perception of renters coincides with the belief of 79 per cent of them that credit is easily obtained. Nearly a quarter of those renters polled believe credit is “very easy” to get.
“Arguably this perception is naïve,” Gregg said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s naïve; it’s still very, very real. There is a very vibrant, younger cohort out there in the rental market who wants to get into the housing market, who believes it is going to be easy to obtain a mortgage.”
Gregg offered other nuggets of good news. For example, a recent Harris/Decima poll indicated that nearly seven in 10 Canadians anticipate interest rates will rise in the near future.
“This leads us to conclude that the consumer is steeled already for an interest rate increase and therefore, the prospect of an increase is already built in to their intentions,” Gregg said.
A significant exception to that optimism concerns the harmonized sales tax. More than two-thirds of respondents (69 per cent) in a recent poll said the HST would make it harder for people like them to buy a house in the future. Eight in 10 homemakers polled expressed that worry. And about three-quarters of respondents in B.C. and Ontario, where the HST is about to be introduced July 1, held that perception.
“Without telling stories out of school, this is a constituency that is highly valued by a certain government in a certain nation’s capital,” Gregg said to scattered guffaws. That makes the government “politically vulnerable on this issue,” he added.
Gregg came back to the HST as he closed his presentation, saying that builders have strong grounds to claim exemptions or amendments, he said.
In his summation, Gregg touched on several key points, including the following:
- “Notwithstanding what economists say, consumers still think we’re in a recession and that isn’t likely to change until we see an up turn in employment.” That gives home builders a strong hand because of construction’s role as an engine of growth. “Because if your health is tied to the health of the economy, your sickness leads to a potential downturn that many fear.”
- The recession had a “psychological impact on Canadians, leaving them more cautious, frugal, discerning, demanding and, if necessary, prepared to do without.” That raises the bar and the burden of proof for home builders “higher than you’ve ever faced in market place before.” By the same token, Gregg doesn’t see housing among the items Canadians will choose to do without. “The housing industry in fact has the potential, I believe, of the opposite being the case.”
- “The challenge obviously is to don’t let this window of opportunity close by virtue of the actions of others, most particularly mortgage lenders and public policy makers. They are the only things right now, barring some cataclysmic change in the data that we just reviewed, that could have a significant effect on this tremendous potential that appears to be yours right now.”
Mortgage restrictions will have an effect, disproportionately among the younger, new entrants into the market. But Gregg said delegates should applaud the fact the measures aren’t more draconian, which could have a caused an abrupt market downturn.
- Easy credit, soaring prices raise new housing fears Canadians are in the midst of a mortgage binge,...
- Canadians don’t expect mortgage rates to rise, but do expect housing prices to go up, says RBC survey Canadians voicing “buy now rather than later” preference TORONTO, March...
- Home ownership at record levels… so is mortgage debt By Colin Perkel – The Canadian Press Never before have so...
- Housing credit squeeze likely to keep bubble at bay Not that there was much likelihood of a bubble forming,...
- Home ownership at record levels… so is mortgage debt Interest rates at or near historical lows combined with low...