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Consumer optimism grows over real estate markets

September 2016

Consumer optimism grows over real estate markets

SurveyOntarians are decidedly more upbeat about the province’s economy than they were last fall –- a newfound positive outlook that is dramatically boosting confidence in residential real estate markets, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) by the polling firm of Ipsos.

Twice a year, OREA releases the Ontario Home Ownership Index, a survey of Ontarians’ perceptions of home ownership and real estate markets at the neighbourhood, city and provincial level. The latest results reveal that the index has surged by 27 points to 129, the biggest increase in sentiment since tracking began in 2013.

People are significantly more likely to rate residential real estate markets as favourable (rating them from 6 to10 out of a total of 10) at all levels compared to previous surveys in November 2015: 58 per cent say residential real estate markets in their city or town are favourable’ (+8 points), while 57 per cent say the same about the market in their neighbourhood (+7 points) and 56 per cent about the overall residential real estate market in Ontario (+6 points).


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Further, Ontarians are saying their local real estate market is strengthening over time. Half (49 per cent) see their neighbourhood real estate market as significantly stronger compared to one year ago (+10 points), while nearly as many (48 per cent) think it will be stronger still in another 12 months’ time (+11 points).

Views were similar for residential real estate markets more broadly:
  • 'The residential real estate market in your city or town’: 50 per cent say stronger compared to one year ago (+10 points); 48 per cent say will be stronger one year from now (+10 points), 52 per cent say will be stronger in next ten years (+5 points)
  • ‘The overall residential real estate market in Ontario’: 48 per cent say stronger compared to a year ago (+11 points); 43 per cent say will be stronger one year from now (+7 points), 48 per cent say will be stronger in the next 10 years (+1 point).

“With significantly-improved perceptions across all markets and time frames, it’s clear to see why the index has posted its biggest gain to date,” says Sean Simpson, vice-president, Ipsos Public Affairs. “As home prices and sales figures throughout the province continue to astound, it is encouraging to see that Ontarians are feeling optimistic about economies and real estate markets, both locally and provincially.”

This brighter picture of residential real estate markets is closely linked to Ontarians’ more positive views about the shape of their local economy.

“The last time Ipsos polled on Ontario real estate, perceptions of the province’s economy were more negative,” says Simpson. “Midway through 2016, the economic mood has improved considerably, and while there is undoubtedly still room for improvement, opinion has rebounded, likely carrying perceptions of the real estate market along with it.”

Six in ten Ontarians (63 per cent) see the economy in their city or town as ‘good’ (rating it from 6 to 10 out of 10), up 12 points since the previous wave. More than half (55 per cent) rate the economy of Ontario as a whole as ‘good’ (+7 points). Economic perceptions are among the strongest in the Greater Toronto Area, where 70 per cent of respondents say their city or town economy is good (+10 points) and 63 per cent say the same for Ontario’s economy (+11 points). That said, opinion about the local city or town economy is also up significantly in Central (51 per cent; +17 points) and Eastern Ontario (71 per cent; +19 points).

Regional Highlights

Greater Toronto Area

  • 70 per cent of GTA residents described the state of their city’s economy as good (66 per cent last year)
  • 63 per cent of GTA residents describe the current residential real estate market in their city or town as favourable (66 per cent last year)
  • 59 per cent of GTA residents described the residential real estate market in their city or town as stronger compared to a year ago (49 per cent last year)
  • Looking ahead to the next year, 59 per cent of GTA residents said the real estate market in their city will be stronger (46 per cent last year)

Central Ontario

  • 51 per cent of Central Ontarians described their city’s economy as ‘good’ (39 per cent last year)
  • The number of Central Ontarians to describe the current residential real estate market in their city or town as ‘favourable remains unchanged from last year at 53 per cent
  • 48 per cent described the residential real estate market in their city or town as stronger than a year ago (up from 30 per cent last year)
  • One third (31 per cent) said the real estate market in their city will be stronger in the next year (34 per cent last year)

Eastern Ontario

  • 71 per cent of Eastern Ontarians described the state of their city’s economy as ‘good’ (63 per cent last year)
  • 48 per cent of Eastern Ontarians described the current residential real estate market in their city or town as favourable (58 per cent last year)
  • 32 per cent of Eastern Ontarians described the real estate market in their city as stronger compared to one year ago (21 per cent last year)
  • 29% say the market will be stronger in the next year, down from 34 per cent last year

Southwestern Ontario

  • 54 per cent of Southwestern Ontarians described their city’s economy as good (42 per cent last year)
  • 61 per cent of Southwestern Ontarians described the current residential real estate market in their city or town as favourable (58 per cent last year)
  • 50 per cent of South Western Ontarians say the real estate market in their city is stronger compared to one year ago (up from 36 per cent last year)
  • 50 per cent said the real estate market will be stronger in the next year (37 per cent last year)

Northern Ontario

  • 47 per cent of Northern Ontarians described their city’s economy as ‘good’ (26 per cent last year)
  • 40 per cent of Northern Ontarians said the current residential real estate market in their city or town was favourable (42 per cent last year)
  • 21 per cent of Northern Ontarians say the real estate market in their city/town is stronger than it was one year ago (24 per cent last year)
  • 24 per cent said the real estate market in their city/town would be stronger in the next year (22 per cent last year)

Read the full news release.


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