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Survey of Prospective Home Buyers Indicates Move Away From Rentals, Desire to Save
In October 2017, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) surveyed 2,507 prospective home buyers online. Respondents were all prime household decision-makers who intend to purchase a new home within the next two years, including approximately 1,500 First-Time Buyers, 500 current owners, and 500 previous owners.
The survey results highlight a few key trends, primarily a desire to stop renting and a need to save for a downpayment and mortgage. The survey indicates the following trends in prospective home buyers:
Moving away from rentals: The top motivator for First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners to purchase a home was the desire to stop renting. Also high on the list was improved accessibility and the investment opportunity buying a house presents.
Searching for the perfect home: Over four-in-ten First-Time Buyers and Previous Owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, but a similar amount say they would be willing to compromise on several factors to purchase a home in the time frame desired.
New mortgages: The majority of future home buyers intend to obtain a mortgage to finance their home purchase, with First-Time Buyers showing higher incidence compared to Previous Owners and Current Owners.
Managing money: The majority of all future home buyers say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future. Furthermore, the majority of future home buyers, especially Current Owners, agree that they feel confident they have the necessary tools and information to manage their mortgage and debt load.
Saving for the future: Among all groups, saving for a down payment and determining what type of home to buy were the two most common actions completed one to two years prior to the purchase of a home.
Interest hikes: About one-in-four prospective home buyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates.
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Canadian home sales fall in April
Statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales fell from March to April 2018.
National home sales fell 2.9% from March to April.
Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% from April 2017.
The number of newly listed homes declined 4.8% from March to April.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) in April was up 1.5% year-over-year (y-o-y).
The national average sale price declined by 11.3% y-o-y in April.
National home sales via Canadian MLS Systems declined by 2.9% in April 2018 to the lowest level in more than five years (Chart A). About 60% of all local housing markets reported fewer sales, led by the Fraser Valley, Calgary, Ottawa and Montreal. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 13.9% compared to April of last year and hit a seven-year low for the month. It also stood 6.9% below the 10-year average for the month. Activity was below year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led overwhelmingly by the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and by markets in and around Ontarios Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region.
The stress-test that came into effect this year for homebuyers with more than a twenty percent down payment continued to cast its shadow over sales activity in April, said CREA President Barb Sukkau. Its impact on housing markets varies by region, she added. A professional REALTOR is your best source for information and guidance in negotiations to purchase or sell a home during these changing times, said Sukkau.
This years new stress test has lowered sales activity and destabilized market balance for housing markets in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador Provinces, said Gregory Klump, CREAs Chief Economist. This is exactly the type of collateral damage that CREA warned the government about. As provinces whose economic prospects have faced difficulties because they are closely tied to those of natural resources, it is puzzling that the government would describe the effect of its new policy as intended consequences.
First quarter: The value of multi-family dwellings leads the rise
Canadian municipalities issued $24.9 billion worth of building permits in the first quarter of 2018, up 3.3% compared with the fourth quarter of 2017.
Construction intentions for residential dwellings led the national increase, rising 6.9% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $15.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The 18.4% increase of the multi-family component more than offset a 3.5% decline in the single-family component.
On the other hand, the value of non-residential building permits fell 2.6% from the fourth quarter of 2017 to $9.0 billion in the first quarter of 2018. The drop was the result of lower activity in both the industrial and institutional components.