Canadian pandemic homebuyers have zero regrets, survey shows

Buying a home in the middle of the pandemic may not seem wise, but the Canadians who did it are still happy about their decision

84 per cent of pandemic homebuyers who paid above list price don't regret their purchase, according to a new poll | Photo: buzbuzzer/E+/Getty Images

Despite the current uncertainty and slowing of the housing market, Canadians who purchased a home during the COVID-19 pandemic have no regrets. 

In a new Zolo survey of 1,183 homebuyers, results show that pandemic homebuyers do not regret buying a home. According to the poll, 84 per cent of Canadians who bought during the pandemic are happy with their purchase today.

Jordann Kaye, a spokesperson for Zolo, said they set out to see if the anecdotal stories being told in the media about pandemic homebuyers were representative of how Canadians feel. 

“I think we suspected that maybe, on average, most Canadians were fairly satisfied, but we did not expect the compelling results that we received,” she said. 

Kaye says that following the pandemic lockdowns, what Canadians prioritized in their homes changed. A nice kitchen and open concept that was a must before the pandemic was re-prioritized as home offices and space to entertain family became more important. 

According to the survey, 91 per cent of Canadians who purchased homes in a different province are happy with their homes and 85 per cent of homebuyers who relocated over 100 kilometres from their previous residence are happy with their buying decisions. 

Kaye says that what Zolo knows now is that Canadians aren’t just buying a home to get away from renting but to also change their living conditions. 

“I think that reflects the changing priorities that Canadians have, now that we're living in a post-pandemic world,” she said. 

Kaye noted that the survey highlighted an attitude felt by many Canadians while experiencing the pandemic: “If I don't buy now, I may never be able to buy.” 

“What we found is that most people are still pretty satisfied with their homes, even people that offered over list prices, even people that bought homes sight unseen, still reported not regretting their home purchases,” she said. 

Results show that 58 per cent of pandemic homebuyers who waived financing and inspections are happy with their home. In addition, 84 per cent of homebuyers who paid above list price don't regret it.

The top reasons why Canadians felt they needed to buy were: more space, they were tired of renting, and they felt that it was a good investment opportunity. 

Nicole Victoria is an author and real estate agent who is among the Canadians who purchased a home during the pandemic. In a Zolo press release, she said she loves the affordability and the different amenities in her new neighbourhood. Her family made a move from Ontario to Edmonton, Alta. 

"Finding a property you love takes more than just the price. Several things can influence a homebuyer's decision,” Victoria said.