While home ownership in itself may seem like a faraway dream for many Canadians (after all, recent data shows that you need to make an annual salary of more than $200K in order to buy a home in Vancouver or Toronto), the type of home that most Canadians are searching for is pretty uniform. Across Canadian cities, houses are the most popular type of dwelling that people search for — with one exception.
According to new online home search data from Point2, Burnaby, BC was the only city analyzed in Canada where condos were searched for more than houses this year.
What sets Burnaby, BC homebuyers apart?
So why are people in Burnaby searching for condos more than houses, and by how much?
In Burnaby, searches for condos represented 60.18 per cent of searches in Burnaby this year. This is essentially a reverse of nation-wide searches, where 62.21 per cent of home-seekers are interested in houses.
As Point2 notes, the difference in Burnaby home search habits likely has a lot to do with two key factors.
- Lots of condos available. First, Burnaby has a healthy condo inventory at the moment (as anyone who has observed the recent development in spots like the Brentwood and Metrotown areas can attest to).
- Proximity to a bigger city. While lots of inventory can influence the amount of search for a type of property, Point2 also suggests that “condo popularity here might also be due to an interest in nearby Vancouver.” This makes sense when taking into consideration the cost of living in Vancouver, which is a short drive away from Burnaby. “After all, being 20 minutes away is what makes Burnaby a prime alternative — particularly for young professionals or young families,” Point2 notes.
What data did the analysts look at?
Designed with the goal of mapping out “the current profile of the Canadian home-seeker and to provide a picture of what online house-hunting looked like across Canada and its major cities,” the Point2 data is derived from an analysis of about 5 million searches conducted this year on Point2Homes.com. The analysis looked closely at factors like price ranges, space needs and home features that today’s buyers deem a must.
Who is the typical Canadian homebuyer in 2022?
Using this data, Point2 also uncovered some interesting insights about Canadian homebuyers at this point in time.
“If we were to sketch a profile of the Canadian homebuyer in 2022, the person tapping the screen would feel familiar,” Point2 noted. “A young Millennial using a mobile phone to look for a house of about 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, for between $200,000 and $300,000, with [two to three] bathrooms and more than [three] bedrooms, and ideally with a garage and outdoor amenities.”
With this profile in mind, it’s easy to see where some of the challenges for aspiring homebuyers come in. Specifically, with recent data showing us how big of a home $300K can buy you in Canada right now and with the Point2 data indicating that the national average home price is $640,000, it becomes apparent that budgets may not be able to accommodate wants and needs.
So, what does all this mean? While most Canadians dream of owning a home, it looks like the type of home they’re searching for may not always align with what they can afford.