Photo: James Bombales

The threat of a housing market downturn has some Canadian homeowners listing their homes for sale.

So suggests a new CIBC survey of more than 3,000 Canadians aged 18 and up.

Cashing out before an expected home price drop is the second-most-common financially related reason survey respondents cite as their top motivation for plans to sell their homes.

In total, 22 per cent of respondents who own homes indicate that’s why they intend to put their homes on the market

Across three age segments, the share of respondents who indicated this as their top pick ranged from 21 to 23 per cent, suggesting it’s consistently top of mind for a large share of Canadians regardless of age.

Although, 54 per cent of all respondents say housing prices will “never” drop, and only 4 per cent say home prices will fall in less than a year.

Some 16 per cent see housing prices declining in the next one or two years, however.

The most common financial reason for planning to sell a home is, well, so the owners can simply move into another.

In fact, “to invest in another or larger home” was the top reason for 23 per cent of respondents planning to sell.

For Canadians between the ages of 18 and 34, otherwise known as Millennials, the share jumps to 46 per cent, and it sinks to just 9 per cent for those 55 and over.

Some 24 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 listed buying another home as their top reason.

Financing retirement was the third most popular reason for planning to sell at 21 per cent, but unsurprisingly it wasn’t top of mind for many under the age of 35.

Only 10 per cent of this demographic cited it as their top selling motivator, while 26 per cent of the 55-and-up crowd and 21 per cent of the 35-54 group did so.

“In today’s market, homeowners are facing a conundrum as to whether to buy, sell or stay put,” said David Nicholson, vice president of CIBC Imperial Service, in a statement.

The top reasons Millennial homeowners plan to put their homes on the market differed.

Among this young demographic, 63 per cent say it’s because their mortgages and other housing costs are “making them cash poor.”

Meantime, 57 per cent are worried about the possibility of rising interest rates, and for 36 per cent, renting just makes more sense to them.

“It’s important to choose the house and mortgage that you can afford so that you can manage your cashflow and won’t end up with buyer’s remorse,” Nicholson pointed out.

The top reason for not selling? For 62 per cent of homeowners, it’s the high cost of another house that’s responsible for their reluctance to sell.

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