While cracks are beginning to show in Canadians’ confidence in the housing market and some may be changing their home buying plans, there are signs of optimism, according to the annual RBC Home Ownership Poll.
Overall, Canadians are watching as house prices come down with 40% of respondents saying they expect to pay less now for a home than they would have a year ago. Respondents are also feeling the seller’s market has passed its peak with only 37% saying it’s a seller’s market, compared to 71% in 2022. For others, there is uncertainty. A quarter of respondents (25%) say they are unsure about the type of market we are in and 18% say they don’t know whether now is a great time to buy.
“There has been a big shift in Canadians’ sentiment around the housing market, including an increase in uncertainty around where the market is today,” says Nick Palucci, senior director, Home Equity Financing, RBC. “But spring is typically a busy home buying season and many potential home buyers may be seeing a window of opportunity opening for them.”
Three-quarters of respondents (75%) are worried about the potential of an upcoming recession, which could be one of the reasons why more than a quarter (26%) are thinking about buying a home later due to the possibility of a recession. But some Canadians may not want to wait, as almost a third (31%) believe there is only a small window of time to take advantage of lower house prices and 42% say there will be no peak to how high house prices will go once they start rising again.
Many pre-first time home buyers are optimistic about the future
According to the research, almost three-quarters (73%) of pre-first time home buyers* say buying a house or condo is a good investment and 41% believe the housing market is strong. This compares to only 53% (down from 69% in 2022) and 30% (down from 46% in 2022) of all respondents respectively.
The majority of pre-first time home buyers are also optimistic about what might be next:
- 78% say they will be in a better position to buy a home compared to previous years (25% for all respondents)
- 68% say lower home prices will finally allow them to buy a home despite higher interest rates (19% for all respondents)
- 65% are optimistic about the housing market over the next year (31% for all respondents)
- 51% believe homes will be more affordable in the near future (24% for all respondents)
“We’re seeing many Canadians taking extra time to plan, save and ensure they’re getting into the market when it’s right for them. At the same time, there has been a wave of optimism among buyers who are looking to get into the housing market for the first time,” says Palucci. “Regardless of your market outlook or when you’re planning to buy, speaking with an expert can help you explore your options and build a plan on how to get there.”
Canadians less likely to give money to family to buy a home
More than half (53%) of respondents are worried their financial position may deteriorate over the next year. This could be contributing to why only 22% would give an immediate family member or their child money for a new home (down from 26% in 2022). Almost half (47%) said they would prefer to help family or children save money by letting them live with them rather than helping them financially. But for those willing to provide financial support, they say they would give more than ever ($68,000 compared to $57,918 last year).
Whether you are looking to buy a home with financial support from family or on your own, Palucci adds that there are many online tools and resources available to help every step of the way:
- RBC Mortgage Specialists – speak with an expert who can help you understand the total cost of home ownership and develop a plan that fits your overall financial goals and lifestyle.
- RBC True House Affordability Tool – see how much home you may be able to afford and learn about different mortgage options.
- RBC Home Value Estimator – see what your current home may be worth today.
- OJO.ca – available in major English markets across Canada, simplify the home buying and selling process with real-time insights, expert guidance and support every step of the way.
- discover.rbcroyalbank.com/homes/ – get access to helpful articles and advice.
National and Regional Data Tables
|Agree – Expect to pay less now for a home|
than a year ago.
|40 %||61 %||43 %||25 %||34 %||48 %||35 %||36 %|
|Seller’s market – Reflects the current housing|
|37 %||41 %||31 %||23 %||34 %||33 %||51 %||47 %|
|I don’t know – Reflects the current housing|
|25 %||16 %||25 %||33 %||31 %||24 %||20 %||25 %|
|I don’t know – It is currently a great time to buy|
a new home.
|18 %||12 %||19 %||24 %||21 %||18 %||13 %||20 %|
|Worried – About the potential of an upcoming|
|75 %||73 %||73 %||83 %||77 %||78 %||66 %||76 %|
|Agree – Thinking about buying a home later|
due to a potential recession.
|26 %||66 %||29 %||27 %||23 %||26 %||24 %||26 %|
|Agree – Only have a small window of time to|
take advantage of lower house prices.
|31 %||51 %||37 %||31 %||28 %||35 %||23 %||30 %|
|Agree – There is no peak to how high house|
prices will go once they start rising again.
|42 %||55 %||52 %||39 %||34 %||42 %||40 %||40 %|
|Buying a home is currently a good investment.||53 %||73 %||66 %||51 %||55 %||57 %||41 %||51 %|
|Agree – The housing market is strong.||30 %||41 %||34 %||28 %||25 %||28 %||32 %||34 %|
|Agree – Will be in a better position to buy a|
home over the next year, compared to
|25 %||78 %||28 %||24 %||26 %||26 %||21 %||26 %|
|Agree – Lower home prices will finally allow|
them to buy their first/next home despite
higher interest rates.
|19 %||68 %||21 %||20 %||16 %||20 %||14 %||22 %|
|Agree – Am optimistic about the housing|
market over the next year.
|31 %||65 %||32 %||23 %||29 %||31 %||34 %||33 %|
|Agree – Believe homes will become more|
affordable in the near future.
|24 %||51 %||24 %||15 %||20 %||22 %||31 %||31 %|
|Agree – Worried my financial position may|
deteriorate over the next year.
|53 %||49 %||52 %||60 %||55 %||56 %||43 %||55 %|
|Agree – Prefer to help family or children save|
money by letting them live with them rather
than helping financially.
|47 %||67 %||40 %||49 %||49 %||50 %||43 %||51 %|
|Agree – Currently willing to help an immediate|
family member/their child by helping them pay
for a new home.
|22 %||28 %||23 %||20 %||25 %||23 %||18 %||27 %|
|Mean (willing to give more than $0) – If asked,|
how much money would they be willing to give
an immediate family member or their child
when looking to buy a home?
|*Pre-first time home buyers are Canadians who are looking to buy their first home in the next two years.|
About The Survey
An online survey of 2,756 Canadians was completed between January 10 and January 23, 2023 using Leger’s online panel, LEO. Leger’s online panel has approximately 400,000 members nationally and has a retention rate of 90 per cent. No margin of error can be associated with a non-probability sample (i.e. a web panel in this case). A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of ± 1.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
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