Despite the pandemic, many Canadians are optimistic about the housing market.
According to a recent survey from the Bank of Montreal (BMO), while COVID is affecting the experience and expectations for first-time homebuyers, many still have a positive outlook on the market.
Based on the findings, first-time homebuyers are looking to spend roughly $432,000 on their first home, and more than 40 per cent believe now is a good time to buy.
However, these feelings are not universally shared—60 per cent of prospective buyers in Alberta and the prairies believe it is a good time to buy a house in their market, while buyers in Ontario and B.C. are more pessimistic—only 33 per cent of first-time buyers are optimistic about their markets.
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Additionally, due to the pandemic, many Canadians—29 per cent—are eschewing major cities in favour of the suburbs and rural areas.
Further, with many Canadians still working from home, priorities have shifted away from a condo or townhome to a detached home.
Moreover, the pandemic has forced many first-time homebuyers—25 per cent nationally and 30 per cent in Ontario—to take out a larger mortgage.
“Even with a global pandemic as our backdrop, we’re encouraged to see Canadians maintaining their optimism on our housing market,” Hassan Pirnia, head of Personal Lending and Home Financing Products for BMO, said in a news release.
“While many buyers are viewing the market favourably, households are facing stronger headwinds than they have in the recent past. As buyers look to enter the market, we should expect to see a continued trend where they are exploring different financial options to help with the purchase. On our side, we continue to be focused on finding ways to help simplify the home buying journey—including offering the longest pre-approval time—so that first-time buyers can make the decision that is best for their situation when they are ready,” he continued.