What do Ontario consumers really think of the current real estate market?
Answers to that question can be found in the newest results of The Ontario Home Ownership Index, a research study created by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) in partnership with the public opinion and research firm of Ipsos Reid.
The study reveals the latest market outlook and home ownership trends across the province. Following a survey of 1,000 people across the province, the index reveals details of the public’s perceptions and expectations of the real estate market, intentions to buy and sell, views on home ownership, housing trends and more. The index research is conducted twice a year.
“Our index is a great resource that is tremendously helpful to REALTORS® as they carry on their work day to day,” says Patricia Verge, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “This was an OREA initiative that gives insights into the trends of the current market and helps us plan for the future based on consumer perceptions.”
Overall, consumer perceptions about the strength of the provincial economy and the real estate market were on par with last year’s results. However, their opinions about the strength of their own neighbourhood markets were on the rise. When asked about their confidence in the strength of their own neighbourhood’s residential real estate market, greater optimism was revealed.
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Four out of 10 surveyed say they view the residential resale market in their own neighbourhood as stronger than it was a year ago, an increase of 7 percentage points. Among those polled recently, 41 per cent said that the local real estate market in their city or town was stronger than it was a year ago, compared to 34 per cent of those asked last year. The survey compared polling results of May 2015 with those of May 2014 to reveal a more optimistic outlook on some issues.
Respondents also conveyed optimism about short-term and long-term prospects for their neighbourhood’s residential resale markets. Looking to the year ahead, 39 per cent of respondents said they believe their local residential resale market will become stronger, compared to 34 per cent a year ago -- an increase of 5 percentage points. Moreover, when asked about prospects in 10 years’ time, 49 per cent said they believe their local residential resale market will be stronger, compared to 47 per cent a year ago, an increase of 2 percentage points.
Although overall perceptions of the economy have remained on par compared to last year, a significant spike was revealed among those surveyed who live in the 416 area code of the GTA. Respondents in the 416 region expressed a rosier outlook, revealing increased confidence in both the provincial and local economies. Compared to last year, 68 per cent of 416 respondents felt that Toronto’s overall economy was good compared to 58 per cent in 2014, an increase of 10 per cent. Moreover, a higher number of GTA respondents rated the province’s overall economy as “good” over last year. In the recent survey, 60 per cent of those surveyed within the 416 area code rated the Ontario economy as good compared to 52 per cent a year earlier.
The supply side of the real estate market may remain a challenge, according to the numbers. The average number of those saying they are likely to sell their house dropped from 14 per cent to 8 per cent, a decrease of 6 percentage points overall. However, when it comes to buying a house, the number of those looking to purchase in the next two years remained stable overall compared to last year.
Watch for more details in the News Releases section of the website at www.orea.com.
Story by Mary Ann Gratton.
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