Housing, economic confidence slumps among Canadians

by Ephraim Vecina03 Jan 2019

With multiple tensions and pressures playing major market roles, Canadians are entering 2019 with a sense of trepidation surrounding the housing market and the national economy, according to the latest edition of the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index.

“Western Canadians continued to be mired in a consumer sentiment malaise with confidence noticeably lower in the Prairie provinces and B.C. than the rest of the country,” Nik Nanos of Nanos Research said.

At the end of 2018, the Index closed at 55.1, which was markedly lower than the 62.2 in 2017.

Around 39.6% of the poll respondents are expecting a weaker economy over the next 6 months, with the ratio having more than doubled annually. Meanwhile, 39.7% are dreading considerable increases in home prices in the next half-year, compared to the 18% who are looking forward to a decrease.

Read more: Economic slowdown, rising rates expose Canadians to crushing debt

Purchasing power was also a very real concern. Around 24.9% of respondents said that they were worse off financially compared to a year ago, while only 18.8% believed that their situations were better.

However, there was an unexpected bright spot: Young Canadians age 18 to 29, who are currently bearing the brunt of housing affordability challenges, were found to be the most optimistic demographic, with an Index measure of 61.5. Outlook actually becomes worse with each higher age group, reaching 50.1 for those 60 or older.

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