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Fears about costs of living continue to dim Canadians’ perspectives

By: Tony Johal

Fears about costs of living continue to dim Canadians’ perspectives

Tags: Costs, Canadians, Housing, Economy

Canadians continue to worry about housing and its associated costs despite the recent strength of the national economy, according to a new poll commissioned for CBC News.

The survey found that among the leading sources of anxiety among Canadians, fears about housing and living costs predominated, with 32% of respondents citing these as their major sources of worry.

This far outstripped other concerns, including climate change (19%), health of self/family members (10%), and immigration (8%).

Manulife chief economist and head of macroeconomic strategy Frances Donald noted that these figures aren’t surprising, considering that housing affordability remains an ever-distant dream for most of hopeful home buyers in Toronto and Vancouver.

“So while the data, as a whole, still looks fairly solid, it’s completely understandable, even from someone who spends all day looking at numbers ... why consumers and households might be feeling a little bit nervous,” Donald stated.

The focus on purchasing power has permeated many Canadians’ outlook on the upcoming elections, as well. As much as 35% of respondents cited employment and the economy as the most important of the current election issues – even with the addition of 27,000 new jobs in May and 106,500 in April.

The results mirrored some of the conclusions reached in a May survey conducted by Genworth Canada in collaboration with Royal LePage. Said poll found that fully 57% of first-time home buyers nationwide are worried about missing out on their preferred homes because of insufficient down payments.

This phenomenon was especially apparent in Toronto (68% of respondents), Montreal (60%), and Vancouver (58%).


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