Canadian homebuying confidence BMO Despite a cooling market, nearly half of Canadian homeowners — 48 per cent — intend to buy a property in the next five years, according to the latest BMO Housing Confidence Report.

The 48 per cent figure is mostly unchanged from fall 2012, “signalling a high level of confidence in Canada’s housing market,” the report says.

Of course, like any national housing report, regional data can vary a great deal. In major city centres, intent to buy in Vancouver is on the rise — up five per cent — while Calgary has dropped by 13 points. Further east, buying intentions in the Greater Toronto Area and Montreal have stayed steady over the same period. Provincially, Atlantic Canada has seen the largest increase in buying intentions, jumping 15 points.

Other notable findings from the report:

  • The under 40 crowd: 46% all homeowners under 40 plan to buy a larger home within the next five years, and are three times more likely to move to a more expensive neighbourhood rather than a less expensive one (24% versus 8%)
  • Real estate investment: 10% of homeowners plan to buy a recreational property in the next five years. However, homeowners planning to buy an investment property have declined to 6% from 8% last fall
  • Market reaction: Nationally, sensitivity to price increases has lessened significantly. Intentions to buy would drop only four points in the event of a 5% increase in home prices compared to a 10% drop last fall. Over the next year, homeowners nationwide expect prices to rise by 2%
  • In Ontario, intentions to buy would not change as a result of a 5% increase in prices. However, a 10% swing would dampen plans to buy by 17 points.
  • Alberta appears to be the most sensitive region to price changes, where a 5% increase in prices would result in a 12 point decrease in buying intentions, compared with only 1 point in the fall. Over the next year, Albertans expect prices to increase 1.9%
  • A 5% increase in prices in B.C. would lower intent to buy from 48% to 39%, unchanged from fall 2012. In Vancouver, homeowners expect a price increase of 1.5% compared to a decrease of 0.6% late last year. Furthermore, only 15% of Vancouver homeowners expect values to drop

Price expectations

To conduct the report, BMO polled 1,008 Canadian homeowners between February 21st and 27th. You can read the full report by clicking here.

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