Despite affordability challenges and inflation, confidence in making the move to purchase a home is rising, reports RBC. According to RBC’s 30th annual Home Ownership Poll, 60% believe owning a house or condo is a good investment. This is up from 53% in 2023. Some 29% are looking to buy in the next two years, up from 22% in 2023. Two-thirds (64%) say they have always dreamed of owning a home.

At the same time, half (50%) of Canadians say inflation is eroding their ability to save for a home. This challenge is acutely felt among those planning to purchase a home within the next two years. Among these potential buyers, there has been a 37% decrease in the total amount they have saved to put towards buying a home.

Among those who have saved some amount, 36% say they aren’t putting aside money every month for a home purchase. This is up from 8% in 2023. 41% of overall potential home buyers say it will take four years or less to save enough for a deposit.

“Canadians have a lot of headwinds to face as they look to purchase a home today, whether they are a first-time buyer or searching for their next home,” says Janet Boyle, senior vice president, Home Equity Finance & Newcomer Strategy, RBC.

“While affordability anxiety remains, many home buyers are exploring different approaches to realise their dream of home ownership.”

Canadians explore various strategies to cover the cost of home ownership

Despite it being harder to save for a home, potential buyers are searching for additional ways to supplement their savings. The majority (57%) say they would need a side hustle or second job. More than a quarter (27%) have had to or would have to live with their parents longer to afford a home. Almost half (45%) also say they would need to overhaul their spending and saving habits to buy a home.

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Family also continues to play a big role. 62% report that financial support from family is necessary to buy a home. Some 19% say they have or will need to buy a home with their family/parents. But support from family might not always be available. 39% of respondents say they want to give family members money for housing or rent, yet can’t afford to do so. The majority (54%) also say they would prefer to have their child/family live with them to help them save money rather than provide financial support.

Mounting costs and inflation putting pressure on next-time home buyers

Two-thirds (66%) of next-time home buyers (i.e. those who currently own a home and are likely to buy again in the next two years) are concerned about covering the costs of home ownership. Additionally, half (51%) of next-time home buyers worry about their ability to buy their next home due to inflation.

Three-quarters of next-time home buyers (76%) believe the housing market in their community is overpriced. Two-thirds (64%) say they wouldn’t be able to purchase their first home in today’s market. The same proportion (64%) believe they would need to move out of the city they are currently living in if they wanted to buy a larger home.

Newcomers eager to buy in the near future

Among newcomers who arrived in Canada in the past five years, 73% say they have always dreamed of owning a home. 65% say they are likely to purchase one in the next two years (compared to 29% nationally). The majority also believe there is only a small window of time to take advantage of lower house prices (56%).

“Whether it’s your first or next home, with so many decisions to make it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about buying a home,” adds Boyle. “Whether in person or online, getting expert advice and having conversations early can help take a lot of the unknowns and stress out of the home buying process.”