More Canadians are taking a non-traditional approach to buying a home and many say being house poor may be the reality of home ownership, says the annual RBC Home Ownership Poll, which was released on Monday.
“We’re seeing a fundamental contrast in who’s at the buying table,” said Nicole Wells, vice-president of home equity financing at RBC. “There is a surge in confident, in-control solo home buyers and, on the polar opposite end, those who are saying they can’t do it alone and need the assistance of family.
“While many Canadians tell us that house poor may be a reality, it doesn’t have to be. It may require more effort or time upfront, but being more prepared in the home-buying journey can help bring it all together. Let’s face it, the white picket fence or pride of your name on the deed is a rite of passage and doing it responsibly means there’s still money for the extras in life.”
Here are the poll’s key findings:
- For the first time in five years, Canadians see the real estate market as balanced between a buyers’ (36 per cent) and sellers’ (34 per cent) market.
- Almost as many home buyers are leaning on family for help (28 per cent) as those buying solo (32 per cent).
- 25 per cent currently identify as being ‘house poor’.
- Down payments are trending up with 47 per cent of prospective home buyers planning to put down more than 15 per cent.
- Buying a home with a partner or spouse has been steadily declining (42 per cent versus 49 per cent in 2017), while non-traditional trends, like purchasing a home alone (32 per cent versus 29 per cent in 2017), are climbing.
- 81 per cent of Canadian say a home or condo purchase is still a good investment.
- 66 per cent of Canadians feel it makes more sense to buy than rent.
- Affordability (21 per cent) and being in a safe neighbourhood (20 per cent) top the list of what Canadians must have, while buying in ‘the right’ neighbourhood is less of a concern (six per cent, steady decline since 2015).
– Mario Toneguzzi