7 Ways COVID-19 has Changed Homebuying Behaviour in Ontario

August 5, 2020

The latest Pulse Check on Consumer Attitudes1 from the Ontario Real Estate Association and Nanos Research has shed some light on how the COVID-19 pandemic might affect the real estate industry on a long-term basis.

While we know that, in the short term, home sellers and buyers alike had to adapt to a new reality to complete real estate transactions, it’s still unclear how real estate will evolve post-pandemic as a result of these changes. But thanks to this report, we have a better understanding of how the pandemic has changed the home desires of Ontarians who are currently active in the real estate market.

For example, according to this report, the pandemic has led many respondents to find rural and suburban living more appealing now, 61% and 60% respectively. In a webcast accompanying the report, Nik Nanos, the Chair of Nanos Research, was quick to say that he doesn’t believe this will lead to a mass exodus from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), but that rural and suburban regions are now considered viable options to many more people than they previously were.

These results line up with a recent GTA Housing Pulse2 report from Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research that confirms sales activity in the suburbs outperformed activity in the city’s core in June, with the condo market taking the biggest hit at a 21% year-over-year decrease in sales. The GTA Housing Pulse report outlines that detached home and townhouse sales in the GTA were the strongest market in June, with year-over-year sales up 13% and 12% respectively. One thing that is clear, real estate remains a strong economic sector for Ontario, with many regions continuing to experience high demand and seller’s markets despite the pandemic.

Our infographic below looks at seven fascinating results from the Pulse Check on Consumer Attitudes report. These seven stats help illuminate what homebuyers might be looking for now, or what might be most important to them in a home after experiencing the pandemic.


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