TORONTO – Heading into the winter of 2017, Ontario residents are feeling even more confident about their real estate markets than they did at the height of the summer market.
The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA)’s Home Ownership Index – a measure that reflects Ontarians’ “overall views of the residential real estate market” – rose higher than ever in December, reaching 131 points. For those keeping track, that reflects an increase of two points since August’s survey results.
According to survey results released on December 20, 55 per cent described their neighbourhood’s current residential real estate market as “favourable.” 51 per cent gave the same rating to their city or town – reflecting a substantial increase of 11 points from 2015’s December.
“According to the results, it is likely that perceptions of strengthening markets will continue in Ontario into the foreseeable future,” said Tim Hudak, who took over as OREA’s Chief Executive Officer earlier in 2016.
“Despite rising house prices in the GTA, buyers remain optimistic. In fact, even more Ontarians than last year say they intend to buy in the future. This speaks to the value of home ownership and the timelessness of this all-important commodity.”
Hudak was referring to the 14 per cent of Ontario residents who say they will “very likely” be purchasing a home within the next two years – up a full three percentage points from December 2015. Perhaps unsurprisingly due to conditions in the GTA, 49 per cent of those respondents indicated that a detached home would be their preferred property type (up 13 per cent from one year ago).
December’s survey also asked residents about their thoughts on the Bank of Canada’s new mortgage stress test rules, which took effect on October 17.
According to the results, 79 per cent of Ontario’s first-time home buyers believe that the new stress testing rules will impact them “at some point,” with 45 per cent of them saying they will “need to keep saving” in order to make a 20-per-cent down payment on their first home.