While the Canadian housing market has been characterized by consistent price growth over the past few years, a vast majority of home buyers in 2019 held positive viewpoints toward the idea of purchasing a residential property, according to a new nationwide analysis by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
In its 2019 Mortgage Consumer Survey, the Crown corporation found that 47% of those polled were “happy” about buying homes, while 39% were “excited.”
And contrary to what the rising costs of home ownership might indicate, only 10% of those surveyed said that buying a home left them feeling “frustrated.” A mere 9% were “fearful.”
The housing sector’s central importance was evident in the 87% of those polled, who expressed confidence in “the long-term financial prospects of homeownership, and their future ability to make their mortgage payments,” CMHC stated in its report.
These prospects are buoyed by robust consumer optimism, which was generally undeterred by the upward movement of mortgage rates in 2019. Nearly a third (32%) of buyers were confident that rates won’t rise next year – a marked increase from the 20% share who offered similar projections in 2018.
However, there are also troubling signs that said optimism might be misplaced.
“Consumer debt continues to be a significant challenge in nearly every part of the country. The impact of those debts also continued to spill over into the mortgage markets,” CMHC warned.
Around 23% of home buyers this year admitted that their current debt levels were higher than they could have anticipated, up from 19% in 2018. Moreover, as much as 59% were compelled to cut back on non-essential expenditures ever since their purchases, with the most common items to be stricken off the budget being entertainment (66%), vacations (55%), and food (44%).