Navigating Canada’s Housing Market
Are these headlines familiar? ‘Household debts on the rise!’ or, ‘Debt hits new high!’? How about, ‘Canadians’ debt soars into danger zone!’
At a time when Canadians are grappling with historically high household debt levels, upwards of 163 per cent according to Statistics Canada, young adults are feeling insecure about their knowledge of the financial implications of homeownership. In a recent survey commissioned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), 70 percent of young Canadians between 18 and 29 indicated a “major need” for more information about the financial implications of buying a home. This figure is particularly meaningful as many in this age group are on the cusp of buying a home for the first time, and need to make informed financial decisions about their future.
Homes are a major asset, and for most Canadians, represent the single largest financial investment of their lives – and most buyers must finance their purchase using some form of credit. While homeownership can be a significant source of equity over the long term, Canadians need to remain vigilant about their finances at this critical decision point in their lives.
In fact, many homeowners with locked-in rates may not feel the impact of market fluctuations until their mortgage comes due for renewal. Buying a home is always a big decision. Whether it is your first time, or your third or fourth home, it is a big investment that warrants careful financial planning and consideration.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, representing over 1,200 REALTORS®, recognizes members of organized real estate have an important role to play. We are homebuyers’ first line of contact, and as such, we need to continue using our knowledge and expertise of the home buying process to empower Canadians to make informed financial decisions.
November is Financial Literacy Month and REALTORS®, and their national association CREA, have collaborated with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to develop and provide a resource for Canadians to help them more easily understand and navigate the home buying process. The Homebuyers’ Road Map* outlines the financial aspects of the home buying process as well as the importance of negotiating with lenders and researching government programs. Our industry’s goal is to empower Canadians with knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions about homeownership, one of the most significant financial and lifestyle decisions most will ever make.
Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®
*The Homebuyers’ Road Map is available free of charge on www.CREA.ca or www.KWAR.ca