Canadians Adjust To The Pandemic’s Impact On Their Homes And Lives

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2020 has been a difficult year as the global pandemic continues to affect our personal and financial well-being, living spaces and relationships. And as Canadians attempt to juggle it all, they’re discovering creative ways to balance their busy schedules and lifestyle needs from home, according to TD’s Real Estate During COVID-19 Survey.

“Canadians are re-evaluating the way they live; looking for unique ways to incorporate home offices, classrooms and gyms into their existing spaces as COVID carries on,” says Jared Jarman, Associate Vice President, Specialized Advice, Acquisition at TD. “The good news is, whether you’re looking to buy a bigger home or embark on a renovation, seeking the right financial advice can help uncover ways to make those dreams of homeownership or functionality upgrades a reality.”

The All-in-One home
Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians have needed to use their living space more creatively. Most Canadians are watching TV (63 per cent) and cooking from home (54 per cent) far more than they used to as they adapt to staying in and forgoing other indulgences, like travel and entertaining, shows the TD survey.

It’s no surprise that as Canadians spend more time at home, previously considered “cozy” nooks are not ideally set-up for work or exercise. In fact, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of working Canadians surveyed say their living space isn’t designed for them to work from home on a regular basis, while three in ten Canadians (29 per cent), say they don’t have enough room to exercise.

Home improvements
Interestingly, the TD survey shows that despite the increased demands Canadians are making on their living spaces, very few (3 per cent) have gone ahead and purchased a new house, vacation home or property since the pandemic hit. That said, more than one in ten Canadians surveyed claim that they are considering a home purchase in the future, as a result of the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has created a whole new set of considerations to think about when you’re looking to move, so it’s not surprising that very few have taken the plunge,” says Jarman. “Will you continue working from home over the long-term? Are you willing to move out of the city or away from friends and family to gain more space? These aren’t easy questions to answer on your own. Understanding that everyone’s experiences are unique, TD provides tailored advice and solutions designed to meet customers’ individual needs, helping Canadians feel prepared to take on the ongoing changes COVID-19 throws their way.”

While most Canadians surveyed seem to be staying put, more than one-third (37 per cent) have, or are planning to complete significant home renovations or repairs to accommodate their new lifestyle. In addition, 45 per cent of Canadians surveyed have either purchased or are considering major purchases of furniture, electronics or appliances to accommodate their new situation.

Shacking up
Like our homes, relationships continue to be heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The TD survey asked Canadians currently in a romantic relationship if they have made housing decisions as a result of the pandemic. In response, many respondents agreed they have acted sooner than anticipated to: move in together (28 per cent); make significant household purchases (27 per cent); buy a home together (19 per cent) or get engaged or married (17 per cent).

What’s next?
Canadians are using their spaces differently as a result of the ongoing global pandemic. While most seem to be planning appropriately for their futures when it comes to home and relationship decisions, it can be challenging to predict what we can expect next. To help alleviate financial uncertainty, TD emphasizes the value of comprehensive, personalized advice offered by working directly with a TD Mortgage Advisor, and through its services such TD Ready Advice, which includes a dedicated resource hub, financial relief offerings, and proactive advice.

Whether it’s help with cash flow and savings or advice around buying a home, TD offers a wide array of online services, including the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator to determine what individuals, families or couples may be able to afford when looking for a new home. Most mortgage services can also be completed online with TD, including a pre-approval form and full mortgage application. For further housing needs, visit td.com/ca/en/personal-banking/products/mortgages/ to get specialized advice to help with your home ownership journey.

About the survey:
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 22 and 24, 2020, on behalf of TD. For this survey, a sample of 1,500 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online, including 937 current homeowners. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to 2016 census parameters.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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