National report says most homeowners too afraid to sell

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KELOWNA – As many as two-thirds of Canadians don’t want to sell their homes because buying a new home is so expensive.

That’s according to a survey released by CIBC earlier this week that says roughly two out of every five Canadians expect the ongoing seller’s market to mean more profits when they do sell.

Vice-president of CIBC Imperial Service spokesperson David Nicholson says homeowners are having a hard time deciding if they want to buy, sell or stay put.

"Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest decisions you'll make,” he says in a media release. “That's why it's important to make the decision for the right personal and financial reasons and see past the noise in the marketplace. Evaluating the pros and cons as part of an overall financial plan can help you decide what's best for you."

President of the Okanagan Mainline Realty Board Tanis Read says sellers who are planning to buy in the same market are no more or less affected than they'd be in other market climates.

“They certainly have to be cautious but it’s sort of all relative," she says. "What you don’t want to do is sell your house and then wait for the right one to come along.”

The report says 41 per cent of Canadian homeowners with plans to sell say they are more inclined to cash in and reap a profit. Sixty-two per cent say the high cost of buying another house is making them reluctant. And 54 per cent of those surveyed expect housing prices will continue to rise. Only 40 per cent think housing prices will drop in the next five years.

Seventy-three per cent of homeowners plan to one day sell their home, including 25 per cent who plan to sell within the next five years.

Only 28 per cent think renting is a better option given current house prices.

The poll also finds that 67 per cent of homeowners aged 55 and over plan to sell their homes. Most say they will sell in order to downsize to a smaller home, condo or nursing/retirement home.

"Your home is where your heart is, but it's also likely your biggest financial asset, so there is a lot to consider as you enter or near retirement that can affect your decision to sell or not," Nicholson says. "It's important to determine what income you'll need in retirement to live the life you want and prepare for the unexpected."

The poll also finds 61 per cent of millennials aged 18-34 either rent or live with family, and as many as 23 per cent of those believe “they will never own a home.”

Of the millennials who do own, 81 per cent plan to sell. Sixty-three per cent say they can’t afford to own a home and 57 per cent are worried the rising interest rate will make it even more difficult in the years to come.

"It's important to choose the house and mortgage that you can afford so that you can manage your cashflow and won't end up with buyer's remorse," Nicholson says. "A house can represent so much – a new start, independence, putting down roots, starting a family or building wealth. But, it's important to evaluate the pros and cons and crunch the numbers so it's the right decision for today and tomorrow."

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