A survey by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) says almost seven in 10 boomers and seniors in the province are concerned about getting the most value from their current home, while almost half (48 per cent) worry about the real estate bubble bursting.
Sixty-four per cent of survey respondents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are concerned that the real estate bubble will burst.
Eastern Ontario respondents are more concerned with how long their current home will sit on the market (62 per cent). Respondents from northern Ontario are the most concerned of all regions about the rise in closing costs (92 per cent).
RECO says age and experience account for the biggest differences when it comes to consumers’ confidence when buying and selling real estate in Ontario. Younger people and first-time homebuyers have more concerns, especially about the financial aspects of real estate.
“Consumers should take the time to get informed about the process of buying and selling a home and know that a registered real estate professional is a valuable partner when trying to navigate the real estate market,” says Kelvin Kucey, deputy registrar, regulatory compliance for RECO.
The research surveyed 800 Ontarians who said they bought or sold in the past two years or are considering buying or selling real estate within the next two years.
Despite 87 per cent of Ontarians indicating they feel they are knowledgeable about the process of buying and selling a home, most still have significant financial concerns and anxieties around the process. Three quarters worry about being able to afford the home they would like and 68 per cent worry about the cost of renovations and upgrades to the home they buy.
The survey revealed that 70 per cent of young people (ages 18-34) are anxious about not being properly informed about the buying or selling process. Other top concerns are centred on affordability:
- 84 per cent worry that they won’t be able to afford the home they would like to buy.
- 76 per cent report they are concerned about affording costs of home repairs and renovations.
- 60 per cent weren’t sure if they could afford monthly mortgage payments on the home they buy.
- 68 per cent are concerned about being outbid by others.
Ontarians aged 35-54, many of whom have already bought and sold their first homes, have fewer concerns than younger respondents. Their biggest concerns are very different from the other groups, RECO says.
- They are the most concerned with how long their home will sit on the market when they go to sell (57 per cent).
- 42 per cent are concerned about whether to buy their new home before selling their current home.
- This age group is the least concerned (52 per cent) that the real estate bubble will burst.
Ontarians agree that the real estate market has changed in the last five years. More than half (56 per cent) think that the process of buying and selling a home has gotten more complicated over the last five years, while 70 per cent think the financial risks have increased. Ninety per cent say that technologies such as online searches, documents and payments have changed the real estate market.
Word-of-mouth from friends and family is how nearly two-thirds (58 per cent) of Ontarians find and select a real estate professional. Thirty per cent of Ontarians use online search while 15 per cent still refer to real estate professional lawn signs. One in 10 did not do any research at all.