01/17/2024

Canadians Gearing Up to Re-enter the Housing Market Despite Declining Confidence in the Economy

  • Less than one-in-ten Canadians believe we’ll avoid a recession in the next 12 months   
  • Fewer respondents in Q4 planning to wait for home prices / interest rates to drop before buying or selling a house than in Q3  
  • Vast majority of employed Canadians say technology plays an important role in their day-to-day professional life, with many labelling it “very important or critical” 
  • Nearly half of Canadians think that lawyers and notaries would benefit from incorporating more technology into their services 

TORONTO, January 17, 2024: Canadians remain seriously concerned about the state of the economy heading into 2024, but their patience for well-priced real estate opportunities has begun to wane.   

According to the findings of the Dye & Durham’s Canadian Pulse Report for Q4 2023, a survey of 1,003 Canadians on trends in the economy, technology and real estate market conducted via the online Angus Reid Forum, fewer Canadians say they are planning to wait for house prices and interest rates to decrease before buying a property, despite lingering concerns about the strength of the economy. Only one-in-five (20%) Canadians say they plan to wait for purchase prices to drop in 2024, and 21% plan to wait for interest rates to decline – down from 24% and 23% respectively in Q3.  

High interest rates continue to impact financial well-being and spending patterns 

Only 20% of Canadians feel better off financially this year than last year, down from the 25% who thought so in Q3. Conversely, the number of Canadians who say they are worse off financially today rose to 44% in Q4 from 39% in Q3. High interest rates and inflation have played a considerable role in this, as Canadians are expecting they will need to spend more on groceries (57%), gas (41%), insurance (auto, 30%; home, 28%) and rent (25%) next year than they have in the past year. 

Canadians are also now more pessimistic about the overall economy in 2024, with 59% believing there will be a recession in the next 12 months – considerably higher than 54% who expected as much in Q3. Less than one-in-ten (9%) believe Canada will avoid a recession in the next 12 months, with 31% believing we’re already in one. 

“Inflation is cooling and interest rates are stabilizing, and with that Canadians are telling us that they have renewed optimism in the outlook for their housing plans,” says Martha Vallance, Chief Operating Officer, Dye & Durham. “It appears that many prospective homebuyers are growing tired of trying to time the market, and pent-up demand could lead to a long-awaited volume rebound for lawyers, realtors and all those that serve real estate interests across the country in 2024.” 

Positive signs for real estate market resurgence in 2024 

The number of Canadians who say they plan to sell their primary residence and purchase a new one in the next 12 months increased modestly during the end of 2023, from 10% in Q3 to 12% in Q4. Additionally, the number of Canadians who had previously left the homeownership market in favour of renting but are now planning to re-enter the ownership market in the next 12 months has increased from 6% in Q3 to 8% in Q4. Finally, the number of Canadians who plan to buy an investment or income property in the next year has slightly increased from 8% in Q3 to 9% in Q4. 

While Canadians appear more bullish on their real estate plans, they do not anticipate the cost of home ownership to be in their favour in 2024. More than half (52%) expect prices to increase in their areas in the next year, with 16% believing they will increase significantly. Most Canadians are also skeptical about mortgage rates becoming more manageable, with less than one-in-five (19%) saying they are expecting mortgage rates to decrease in the next year.  

Canadians have embraced technology in their jobs ─ and expect their service providers to do the same 

Technology has become a crucial part of our work lives as the majority of employed Canadians (87%) say it plays an important role in their day-to-day professional life, with two in three describing it as very important or critical. It is evident that people are benefiting from the use of technology and expect the same level of convenience and efficiency from the services they receive. Analytics (62%), Cloud Computing (60%), 5G (53%) and AI (45%) are the technologies that Canadians say will become increasingly important to their jobs over the next five years. 

Nearly half (45%) of Canadians think that lawyers and notaries would benefit from incorporating more technology into the services they provide them/how they provide those services. Doctors (64%) and government services (63%) are the skilled service providers Canadians think would benefit most from greater adoption and deployment of technology in the services they provide.  

“The role that technology plays in service delivery has moved beyond that of an enabler and an equalizer – it has become an expectation for Canadian consumers,” says David Nash, Chief Product Officer, Dye & Durham. “Skilled providers like notaries and lawyers that find ways to leverage technology to remove friction and improve service delivery will stand out from the pack, building lasting customer preference that will improve their bottom line.” 

About the Survey 

Conducted quarterly, the Dye & Durham Canadian Pulse Report is designed to uncover trends and insights into Canadian sentiment surrounding three key areas: the economy, technology and the real estate market. The findings of the report are the result of a survey conducted by Dye & Durham from November 8-9, 2023 among a nationally representative sample of n=1,003 Canadians who are members of the online Angus Reid Forum, balanced and weighted on age, gender, region and education. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The survey was offered in both English and French. 

About Dye & Durham Limited 

Dye & Durham Limited provides premier practice management solutions empowering legal professionals every day, delivers vital data insights to support critical corporate transactions and enables the essential payments infrastructure trusted by government and financial institutions. The company has operations in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and South Africa. Additional information can be found at www.dyedurham.com. 

For more information: 

Matt Roth  

Vice President, Global Brand and Communications 

E: [email protected]   

P: 647-518-6754 

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