RBC poll suggests Canadians are cautious, but first-time buyers are ready to move
By: Monika Warzecha March 26, 2013

Flickr Photo NL '11 CCXVII by jessica @ flickrThus far, the 2013 market has had to compete with comparisons to 2012′s warm spring and hot sales, tighter mortgage rules and countless experts weighing in on the ups and downs of the industry.

The just released 20th Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll shows what the average Canadian thinks of the real estate market.

And despite all the talk of crashes, bubbles and balloons, the responses tend to be careful and, in some cases, cautiously optimistic.

Wait and see

  • Only 15 per cent of Canadians said they’re likely to buy in the next two years, down from 27 per cent last year.
  • The 12 per cent drop is lowest year-over-year decline recorded by the poll.

Silver Linings

  • The younger crowd wants in on the market: four out of ten Canadians who said they’re looking to buy in the next two years would be first-time buyers.
  • 84 per cent of Canadians have faith that a house or condominium is a good investment.
  • While 36 per cent of people surveyed last year thought the market is in balance, that number reached 40 per cent in 2013.

Sentiments differ from province to province. Here’s how the opinions break down by region:

British Columbia

  • 51 per cent think now is a good time to buy a house while 49 per cent say wait until next year.  
  • 20 per cent say they are likely to buy a home within the next two years.
  • BC residents were more likely than any other Canadian region to forecast lower housing prices in the next year (38 per cent compared to 24 per cent nationally).

Alberta

  • 89 per cent believe property is a good investment (higher than the 84 per cent national average).
  • 49 per cent think their current housing market is balanced, compared to the national average of 40 per cent.

Prairies

  • 56 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents believe it makes sense to wait ’til next year to buy a home, while 52 per cent of Canadian thought the same.
  • 88 per cent think a house or condo is a good investment.

 Ontario

  • A significant amount of Ontarians (86 per cent) don’t think they’ll buy a home in the next two years.
  • However, 83 per cent are convinced it’s still a good investment.

Quebec

  • 87 per cent don’t expect to buy a new home in the next two years.
  • 84 per cent believe a house or condo is a good investment.
  • 49 per cent think now’s a good time to buy

Atlantic Canada

  • 64 per cent say it makes sense to buy now, the highest percentage in Canada.
  • 81 per cent believe a house or condo’s a good investment.