With the legalization of cannabis in Canada just one day away, Zoocasa has released the results of a national public survey meant to gauge public sentiment around how cannabis legalization in Canada will impact the real estate industry including homeowners, prospective buyers, renters and landlords.
In a release, Zoocasa said that while “while the future may be green, just how legal cannabis will impact the real estate industry – including homeowners, prospective buyers, renters and landlords –remains one big grey area.”
The reason for this, they said, is that despite the the drug’s newly-minted legal status, questions linger over how personal use and cultivation may impact the value, desirability, and even the insurable status of homes for sale.
According to the survey data, most Canadians feel that smoking cannabis inside their homes is a generally bad idea.
A full 64% of those who indicated they were homeowners felt doing so would harm its resale value, an increase from the 39% who indicated as such in Zoocasa’s previous Housing Trends Report.
As well, over half of homeowners – 57% – felt that growing even the legal amount of cannabis (up to four plants under the Cannabis Act), would have a negative impact on a home’s value.
This stigma extends to prospective home buyers, too: A total of 52% respondents say they’d be less likely to consider specific houses for sale if they knew even a legal amount of cannabis had been grown in them. other additional findings included:
While Bill C-45 is federal legislation, the retail distribution of cannabis – whether via a physical outlet or online source – is under the jurisdiction of the individual provinces.
While this means Canadians will now be able to purchase the drug legally from a provincially-regulated retailer, homeowners aren’t exactly welcoming dispensaries to the neighbourhood with open arms.
In fact, Zoocasa said its findings reveal nearly half of all respondents (42%) feel having a cannabis dispensary in the neighbourhood would harm the value of nearby homes.
As well, 48% of respondents stated the presence of a dispensary nearby would reduce their desire to purchase a specific property.
However, those who already live by a local dispensary (16% of all respondents) are more likely to be comfortable with the presence of one (58%).
By contrast, of those who don’t currently live close to a dispensary or are not sure if there is a dispensary nearby (84% of all respondents), 54% feel strongly that they would not be comfortable with one coming to their neighbourhood.
These sentiments appear to be cannabis specific, however – only 14% of all respondents stated they would feel uncomfortable with a new liquor store opening in their neighbourhood. Some of the other findings in this aspect of the study include:
One of the most hotly debated pre-legalization topics is whether those who live in close proximity to their neighbours – such as condo unit owners and renters – should have the same ability to consume cannabis as those who live in detached homes, as condo boards and rental management have fought to control or ban use prior to legalization.
In this regard, Zoocasa said that according to the survey, the majority of Canadians aren’t in favour of condo or apartment consumption, with 61% of all respondents disagreeing residents should be able to smoke cannabis within their units, and 64% believing boards and property managers should be able to ban the drug’s use in residents’ units.
However, when it came to understanding what those consumption and cultivation rights actually are, renters are less clear: just 32% of tenants polled say they don’t know, while an additional 32% say they’re unsure, with only 36% stating they understand their home cannabis consumption rights.
In comparison, 67% of landlords agreed they understand their rights regarding what can and can’t be enforced when it comes to tenants smoking or cultivating the drug on their property.
As well, refraining from smoking within a rental unit appears to pay off: 65% of landlords say they would consider lowering rent for tenants who do not smoke cannabis. Other findings on this end of the survey included:
The findings are based on an online survey conducted by Zoocasa.com from Sep 27, 2018 to Oct 3, 2018 of over 1,380 respondents who live in Canada.