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Canadian Housing Market Poll Finds 2/3 Are 'Concerned' With Where Things Are Headed

Century 21's realtors sense a fairly foul mood out there.
KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Getty Images

Feeling a little tense about jumping into the housing market? You’re not alone.

A solid majority of participants in Canada’s various housing markets are feeling on edge about where things are headed, according to a survey from brokerage Century 21.

The survey is somewhat indirect: Rather than polling buyers and sellers, it asked more than 1,000 Century 21 real estate agents to gauge the mood of their clients.

In all, 68.3 per cent of agents reported their clients are “somewhat” or “very concerned” about current market conditions. Only 15.6 per cent described their clients as “optimistic” or “excited.”

Data: Century 21 Chart: HuffPost Canada

Interestingly, despite the dead-slow pace of sales in Vancouver’s housing market, British Columbians’ attitude towards the housing market is almost exactly the same as the national average.

The worst pessimism can be found on the Prairies, where fully 77 per cent are somewhat or very concerned, and only 11.8 per cent are optimistic or excited. That makes sense, given that the two largest housing markets there — Calgary and Edmonton — have been having a pretty bad year.

Watch: How Canada’s high house prices are harming the job market. Story continues below.

But the optimism winners are in Atlantic Canada, the only region surveyed where fewer than half of people are concerned about the market, and more than 38 per cent are optimistic or excited. The survey didn’t break out numbers for Quebec.

“The regional differences in the data are striking, and we also heard some interesting anecdotes from agents,” Century 21 executive vice-president Brian Rushton said in a statement.

“For example, some neighbourhoods in Ottawa and Regina are bucking the trend and are hot sellers’ markets, as are some suburbs of metropolitan centres like Vancouver as people are moving farther out from the core.”

But overall the poll implies that it’s increasingly a buyer’s market out there — or so the people in it seem to believe. Among buyers, 46.7 per cent report feeling “excitement,” while 28.8 per cent are “nervous” about prices or taxes.

Among sellers, there’s far less excitement — only 18 per cent say they’re excited — while 38.7 per cent are feeling nervous.

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