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Most Canadians are worried that a recession is coming soon, though opinions are split on whether this is the right time to buy a home.

In the newly published RBC Home Ownership Poll, 75% respondents admitted being worried about the potential of an upcoming recession. But while more than a quarter (26%) said they would consider delaying a home purchase because of the possibility of a recession, nearly one-third (31%) thought there was only a narrow timeframe to take advantage of lower house prices and 42% said there would not be a peak on how high house prices will go once they start rising again.

The survey found 37% of respondents identifying Canada’s housing environment as a seller’s market – in last year’s poll, that number was 71%. Nonetheless, optimism laced its way through the survey, especially with newcomers to the market. When first-time homebuyers were polled separately, 78% of respondents said they will be in a better position to buy a home compared to previous years, 68% said lower home prices will finally allow them to buy a home despite higher interest rates, 65% were optimistic about the housing market over the next year and 51% believed homes will be more affordable in the near future.

“There has been a big shift in Canadians’ sentiment around the housing market, including an increase in uncertainty around where the market is today,” says Nick Palucci, senior director of home equity financing at RBC. “But spring is typically a busy home buying season and many potential home buyers may be seeing a window of opportunity opening for them. We’re seeing many Canadians taking extra time to plan, save and ensure they’re getting into the market when it’s right for them. At the same time, there has been a wave of optimism among buyers who are looking to get into the housing market for the first time.”

RBC’s survey of 2,756 Canadians was completed between Jan. 10-23.