Home buyers in Oshawa, Burlington and Brampton want houses, not condos (and want to pay 90s prices) – survey

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Published November 8, 2022 at 11:57 am

 

Data compiled by Point2Homes.com is showing that the average homebuyer in Canada is predominately interested in houses – not condos – and nearly half the people surveyed were millennials aged 25-44.

The data also show that many of these would-be homebuyers are hoping for a miracle as the most searched-for price range in Canada was between $200,000 and $300,000 — less than half the latest national average home price of $640,000.

While such housing options do exist, that range is the definition of wishful thinking in most of Canada.

Just as optimistic was the second-most popular price range: $300,000 to $400,000. Specifically, 14.41 per cent of online searches conducted in 2022 targeted homes within this price limit, which is still far below the national average. Although this increased budget opens slightly more housing opportunities, it doesn’t necessarily come with more comfortable living space since $300,000 doesn’t even buy you 500 square feet in many major cities.

Rather, the lower budget ranges speak volumes to the buyer’s perception of affordability in today’s housing market.

With a healthy condo inventory, Burnaby, BC was the only city analyzed where condos were more popular than houses. Conversely, the opposite was true in Ontario cities such as Oshawa, Brampton, Burlington and Windsor, where at least 81 per cent of searches targeted houses.

Oakville (79.97 per cent) and Markham (76.12 per cent) were close behind.

Almost all of home seekers in cities, in fact, favored searches for houses — especially in Ontario, so much so that the top 12 major cities where houses were most searched for was made up entirely of Ontario entries.

Millennials dominated online house-hunting with 44 per cent of searches performed by people aged 25 to 44, with the most active home-seekers being younger millennials in their late 20s and early 30s.

Young professionals in their late 20s to early 30s were responsible for 23.57 per cent of online home searches. This age group is thought to be motivated by a need for stability as a result of getting married or due to reaching a financial goal that allows for such a purchase. Sources place most as first-time buyers with an income bracket that tends to reflect their position at the start of a career.

Then, there are older millennials (35 to 44 years old), who made up 20.39 per cent of home-seekers in 2022. They’re seen as a cohort of repeat buyers who may be looking for something more accommodating for a growing family or an upgrade following a bump in their financial fitness.

On the other hand, we have home-seekers aged 55 to 64 — who made up almost 14 per cent of users browsing for a home — alongside those aged 65 and older, who represented close to 10 per cent. These prospective buyers – the boomers – may be just as interested in downsizing (because they no longer need all their space) as they are in relocating (either to be closer to family or prompted by accessibility needs).

Nationwide, online home searches were evenly split between women and men — 50.7 per cent of home-seekers on Point2Homes.com were women, while 49.3 per cent were men.

If we were to sketch a profile of the Canadian homebuyer in 2022, says report author Alexandra Ciuntu, the person tapping the screen would feel familiar: a young millennial using a mobile phone to look for a house of about 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, for between $200,000 and $300,000, with 2-3 bathrooms and more than 3 bedrooms, and ideally with a garage and outdoor amenities.

“When the pandemic hit, online house-hunting and virtual touring became the norm. Home-seekers embraced technology more than ever and educated themselves to anticipate future needs and prepare for scenarios that they hadn’t previously considered.”

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