Brian O'Donoghue

Sales Representative

Direct 647-405-3126 | bodonoghue@bosleyrealestate.com

The Pandemic Has Made Canadians Feel More Emotionally Connected to Their Homes


The pandemic has transformed many aspects of society, but perhaps none so much as the concept of home: for many of the Canadians who locked down in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, where they lived became their gym, restaurant, and office. That’s had a significant impact on how we view our homes, according to new national data.


In a recent survey conducted by Ipsos a full 75% of Canadians (based on a sample of 1,002 respondents aged 18+) agreed that their home has become more important to them due to the pandemic, with an additional 65% saying they feel a stronger emotional connection to it. This has been reflected in an intensified demand for residential ownership since 2020, says Ipsos, despite rising prices and the supply challenges facing those trying to break into the market. Not surprisingly, this enhanced appreciation of the emotional benefits of home was stronger among those who own (70%) compared to those who rent (59%).


The survey also found that the most important considerations among Canadians looking to move have shifted. According to respondents, as of March 2020, the top two considerations when deciding where to live were the level of comfort in their home (73% ranked this between 8 and 10 in terms of importance) and level of safety within their community (71%). This outweighs the 58% who indicated the cost to maintain their home was the most important factor.


Location seems to have fallen by the wayside when it comes to buyer considerations; proximity to work, school, or other regular commitments has become more important to only a minority (30%) of Canadians — likely due to an increase in remote school and work options over the last two years.


The data also reveals that many Canadians, especially younger ones, became all around more knowledgeable about the real estate market during the pandemic; eroding affordability and lack of available supply have been especially hot-button issues over the last two years. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the average price for a home nation-wide has exceeded the $800,000 for the first time, following an annual increase of 20.8%.


“Emotional connection and long-term investment intersect even more as Canadians adapt to the socio-economic shifts resulting from the pandemic. Just under half (48%) of Canadians agree that they have become more knowledgeable about the real estate market in Canada during the pandemic, and 41% say they are more likely to see purchasing a home as a capital investment because of the pandemic,” states the report. This is especially apparent among the 18 – 34 age group with 59% agreeing they’ve become more knowledgeable, compared to 48% of those aged 35 – 54, and 40% of those aged 55+. A total of 57% of the youngest age group also indicated they’re more likely to consider real estate as an investment opportunity.


“This highlights the impact the pandemic has had in broadening younger generations’ understanding of the market and perceptions of investment opportunities in the lead up to their peak home-buying years,” reads the release.


An overwhelming majority of respondents indicated just how tough entering the market has been over the course of the pandemic, with 81% saying they believe there’s a severe supply shortage in Canada, especially among renters (87%) compared to homeowners (77%).

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It may be difficult to buy a home or a plot of land in Toronto, so why not try the metaverse? Ever since Facebook announced it would change its name to Meta and focus on building its own digital world, interest in metaverse real estate has skyrocketed. In fact, real estate sales in the metaverse surpassed $500 million in 2021 and could double in 2022, according to data from MetaMetrics Solutions. Are we ready for this?

 

It’s becoming increasingly clear that commercial real estate in the metaverse is going to play a huge part in the global real estate industry in the years to come. In fall 2021, Tokens.com inked a letter of intent to buy a 50% stake in a digital real estate portfolio owned by Metaverse Group, which then plans to market the offerings as the first REIT (real estate investment trust) for digital real estate. The Metaverse Group believes that a public listing could come in 2022 or 2023.

 

The popularity of buying and selling digital property means companies like the Metaverse Group work for the most part, on the same type of tasks related to buying, selling and marketing as a traditional real estate company. As prices rise and buyers seem frenzied over virtual land — some express skepticism that investing in digital real estate will prove to be prudent down the road.

 

Yet despite the high prices, interest in metaverse real estate continues to grow, especially as the pandemic has driven more people online and made them more apt to virtually socialize. You can go into the metaverse and go to a museum. You could meet other friends there regardless of where they’re geographically located. Those interested in metaverse real estate also have competition, namely celebrities who have not been shy about touting their digital real estate activity.

 

The attention and interest given to the Metaverse have not escaped other companies besides Meta, formerly Facebook, and Microsoft, who are also eager to jump in on the action.

 

Like traditional real estate which often maintains value even during tough economic times, metaverse properties continue to boom despite ebbs and flows with Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

 

Investment firms are even dipping their toes into the Metaverse and continue to learn more about how they can get involved. High prices, popularity and the ease of buying and selling virtual land (in contrast to traditional real estate) mean the Metaverse will be more than a buzzword. Like the domain name scramble during the early ages of the internet, savvy investors and buyers who snap up properties in prime locations will look very smart as more and more people jump into the metaverse.

 

Keep in mind when assessing the metaverse as an investment opportunity, you can equate it to cryptocurrencies; getting in early can make you rich – but could also get you burned.


As the Metaverse continues to grow and expand — so will digital real estate. You can’t apply the rules of the real world into the metaverse. Savvy buyers and investors would be smart to stay ahead of the curve and assume the metaverse real estate boom is here to stay.

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