Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB
Homebuyer intentions were understandably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a survey by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) indicates the pause is purely temporary.
The Consumer Home Buying & Selling Intentions Survey captured home buying and selling intentions, along with consumer opinions on preferred government policy directions related to the housing market.
“While COVID-19 has temporarily impacted home sales and listings in the GTA, the Ipsos survey results that show homebuying intentions have remained quite stable certainly suggest that many people will be looking to satisfy pent-up demand for ownership housing once recovery starts to take hold,” says TRREB President Michael Collins.
“As people gradually return to work, consumer confidence will improve, and a growing number of people will look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs to purchase a home. Home purchases will continue to be aided by the use of technology available to realtors, including live-stream open houses.”
GTA-wide, 27 per cent of survey respondents said they were likely (very likely or somewhat likely) to purchase a home in the next 12 months. While buying intentions were down compared to spring 2019 (31 per cent likely), they remained relatively in line with the five-year trend.
Home purchasing intentions were above the GTA average in Toronto (34 per cent), for younger people aged 18 to 34 (45 per cent) and households with children (37 per cent).
The most common reason for not intending to purchase a home over the next 12 months was that they liked their current home (62 per cent). General affordability issues were also a common response. COVID-19-related issues influenced 16 per cent of respondents who indicated that they were unlikely to purchase a home.
“The supply of listings was an issue before the onset of COVID-19, with market conditions tightening and price growth accelerating throughout the first quarter of 2020,” says Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst.
“The Ipsos survey results suggest that the supply of listings will continue to be an issue as the economy and housing market recovers,” Mercer adds. “Policy makers have acknowledged that there is a lack of a diverse housing supply in the GTA. While the supply issue has understandably taken a back seat to COVID-related issues in the short term, it should once again be top-of-mind once recovery takes hold.”