Ontario renters who are active in the real estate market are nearly twice as likely to express interest in buying a home due to the pandemic.
According to the latest research by Nanos Research for the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)’s monthly Pulse Check on Consumer Attitudes, 25% of Ontario renters who are active in the real estate market say they are more interested in buying a home now, compared to just 13% who say they are less interested.
And, 54% report they are just as interested now, as they were pre-pandemic.
The report reveals that renters are also more likely to say they are actively looking to buy a home right now (63%) than homeowners (47%) — with Millennials aged 18 to 34 (62%) and those 35 to 54 (59%) more actively looking than older Ontarians.
“Despite the uncertainty stemming from the pandemic, housing remains a strong sector of our province’s economy, with the Canadian Dream of home ownership continuing to be a strong value for many Ontarians,” Sean Morrison, OREA President, said in a statement.
“As we look ahead and move towards economic recovery in a post-COVID era, we can expect even more interest as renters and first-time home buyers look to enter the market.”
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There is also a shift in attitudes towards rural and suburban living for buyers due to the pandemic.
As a result of the physical distancing and isolation that people have experienced over the past few months, close to three in five active in the real estate market say that living in a rural area is more appealing to them now than before the pandemic, while just over three in five say the same about living in the suburbs.
On average, Ontarians active in the real estate market believe it will be a good time to buy a home in about 9 months or list a home for sale in 9.5 months.
“This shows that many buyers and sellers are staying on the sidelines despite interest in the market, due to economic uncertainty,” the report said.
When it comes to house viewings, eight in 10 Ontarians said they would be comfortable or somewhat comfortable attending an in-person private showing, with 66% saying they would be comfortable or somewhat comfortable attending an open house with other buyers present.
The survey shows that the pandemic has accelerated the desire to own a home, and that residents want more affordable choices in the housing market.