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August 15, 2012

Safety, perceived value and location most important to Ontario homebuyers

New survey from Ontario Real Estate Association shows 39% want move-in ready home

TORONTO, August 15, 2012 — Safety, perceived value and a location close to shopping or transportation are the most important factors Ontarians consider when buying a home. New research commissioned by the Ontario Real Estate Association and hosted on the Angus Reid Forum shows that 93 per cent of Ontario residents surveyed say safety (e.g. low crime area, building security) is important when considering properties, 85 per cent list perceived value of the home (i.e. considered a good buy based on market and amenities) as a top consideration and 80 per cent want the home to be close to amenities (e.g. shopping, transportation, etc.).

Part one of the OREA State of the Market survey released today is a snapshot of what’s on the minds of homebuyers in the province. Part two will be released later this summer and will focus more on the concerns of sellers.

“Security, both physical and financial, is top of mind for Ontarians,” says Ron Abraham, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “Homebuyers may not know which neighbourhoods offer the best potential to grow their investment or which condo building provides maximum security features. A Realtor can help buyers find the right home in an area that meets all their top needs.”

Other findings from the survey:

  • 65 per cent of respondents age 18-34 ranked quality of local schools as an important factor when buying a home, while less than half (48 per cent) of people ages 35-54 said it was important.
  • 80 per cent of younger Ontarians (ages 18-34) say a property close to work is an important factor when buying a new home, dropping to 65 per cent for those in the 35–54 age group.
  • Men and women had similar responses to the questions. One noted difference was that 62 per cent of men said a coveted neighbourhood was an important factor to them, while 53 per cent of women said it was important.

Of those who specifically plan to buy a home in the next year, safety and perceived value are top factors but 85 per cent also indicate that ongoing home maintenance required for a property (amount of yard work, fees for condo management, etc.) is an important consideration.

Move-in ready homes preferred most
When asked which type of home they’d prefer to buy (new build, resale home that’s move in ready, one that requires minor renovations, a fixer-upper that needs major renovations, or a buy, tear down and rebuild), more than a third said they’d prefer a resale home that’s move-in ready (39 per cent).

  • 26 per cent said they’d like a home that only needs minor renovations and only 5 per cent said they would want a home that needs a major renovation.
  • Across Ontario, 19 per cent said they would want a newly built home; this number rose to 24 per cent for people in the GTA. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation shows 66 per cent of Ontario’s new housing starts in the first quarter of 2012 are in Toronto. 

“If you have a number of must-haves when looking at homes it will inevitably increase the price of your purchase,” says Abraham. “Homebuyers should have a frank conversation with their Realtor about what is vital and what would be nice to have. It is then our job to find them a property that meets their needs and helps them maximize their investment.”

More information on working with a Realtor and resources for homebuyers are available at www.howrealtorshelp.ca.


From June 19 to June 20, 2012, an online survey was conducted among 800 randomly selected Canadian adults who live in Ontario and who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current census data on age, gender, region and education to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Ontario. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. 

About the Ontario Real Estate Association

The Ontario Real Estate Association represents 53,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 42 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its REALTOR® members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. www.OREA.com  


To book an interview with Ron Abraham, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, or for more information please contact:

Katarina Markovinovic 
Ontario Real Estate Association
416-445-9910 ext. 615

Jennifer Fox
Thornley Fallis Communications
(416) 515-7517 ext. 350

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