COVID-19 isn’t deterring homebuying intentions

FVREB is seeing a surge in new listings and sales in June compared to May. And that interest in homebuying is also reflected in the latest national research from Altus Group.

Every spring – in early April – Altus Group surveys renters and homeowners across Canada regarding their buying intentions over the next year and, also asks homeowners about their renovation plans – if they intend to spend $5,000 or more in the coming year on improving their home. Altus releases their findings every June.

Some of their findings this year were encouraging, considering early April was the peak of emergency pandemic orders and working from home. One might have thought that COVID-19 would have dampened homeowners’ intentions regarding buying a new home in 2020, but Altus found that wasn’t the case.

Homebuying intentions didn’t fall. Pandemic aside, the same percentage of Canadians still hoped to buy a new home this year as last.  Here are the highlights from Altus’ findings:

  • 7% of respondents – who already own a home – Indicated they plan on buying a new home within the next year. This was the same result as those surveyed in April 2019 and higher than those surveyed in winter 2020.
  • 14% of respondents – who are currently renting – indicated they plan on buying within the next year, down from 16% in the winter survey, yet 2% higher than renters surveyed last year.
  • Only 9% of respondents – who already own a home – plan to spend at least $5K on renos; down from the winter survey and down noticeably from April of last year.  

Altus concludes that “although the relatively favourable robust homebuying intentions for the next 12 months do not necessarily mean that buyers are ready to get out there in the short-term”, they are an encouraging sign of the pent-up demand that Canada’s housing market could see when recovery from the pandemic takes hold.

Altus Group’s market intelligence and forecasts are released on a subscription basis. For more info, go to

For market forecast information for BC and the Fraser Valley that is not subscription-based, head to BCREA’s Economics page on their public website.

Senior Economist, Brendon Ogmundson, just released their BCREA 2020 Second Quarter Housing Forecast on June 10, predicting a strong recovery for BC’s market next year, post-COVID-19.