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%).