Ontarians see real estate market getting stronger

Monday Mar 20th, 2017




Ontario residents are feeling more optimistic about the economy in general and the real estate market specifically with a fundamental shift in how they view the market, according to anIpsos poll released Wednesday by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).

It showed that confidence has gained a record 27 points since November on the Ontario Homeownership Index. That’s the biggest gain since the OREA began tracking attitudes in 2013.

“It is by far the biggest change that we have seen in people’s sentiment towards real estate was in the last six months. That was quite remarkable to me,” said Sean Simpson, vice-president of Ipsos Public Affairs.

The index, which measures market perceptions, is set to a benchmark of 100. It has gone up to 108, back down to 102 and is now 129

“Most people still believe home ownership is a good investment and most people still see home ownership as a dream that they want to pursue,” he said.

More than half — about 57 per cent — of the residents surveyed viewed the residential real estate market as favourable in the province, in their own town or city and in their neighbourhood.

Confidence is highest in the scorching Toronto-area market, where 59 per cent of those polled described the residential market as stronger than a year ago — a 10 per cent gain over the last poll in November.

That growing confidence could be inspiring more activity on the housing market, said Simpson. The latest poll shows 13 per cent plan to buy in the next two years, compared to 9 per cent in May 2015.

The number who said they plan to sell also rose, to 15 per cent from 8 per cent year over year.

The gains follow an ebb in economic confidence last fall and winter, Simpson said.

“You had to go back to 1993 to see economic confidence as low.”

Despite some negative economic signals this spring, he said, “Canadians think things are headed on the right track, largely on account of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and high approval ratings. Where economic sentiment has risen, so too has people’s perceptions of the real estate market. Job anxiety is down, so it’s a rising tide.

“It’s not that things are great, it’s that things are better than they were back in the fall,” said Simpson.

In Ontario the economic outlook is most positive in the GTA, where 70 per cent of those polled said the city’s economy is good, compared to 66 per cent last year.

Optimism about the residential real estate market was highest among older residents. About 59 per cent of those 55 and older said the market was stronger, compared with only 43 per cent of those in the 35 to 54 age range. Only 37 per cent of those 18 to 34 saw it as stronger than it was a year ago.

It’s no wonder the older residents are the happiest. They’ve got the most equity in their home.

“They’re sitting on a gold mine because prices are going up. Their next transaction might only be to sell, not to buy,” said Simpson.

The online Ipsos survey of 1,006 residents was conducted May 31 and June 2. The results are considered accurate within 3.5 per cent 19 times out of 20.


Source: Toronto Star

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