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Pandemic ushers in a new era of home buying



The COVID-19 pandemic has made Canadians re-evaluate many things, one of which is their home. Overnight, homes have become our offices, virtual classrooms and banana bread bakeries - all of which have led to Canadians increasingly looking for bigger living spaces. 

On Google Search, we saw housing and mortgage-related searches reach record highs over the last year, as Canadians went online to begin their home buying journey, and learn more about what’s required for home ownership. Searches for house for sale, mortgage loans, mortgage calculators and mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been in five years. 

The huge shift towards working from home has also opened up new geographic possibilities for many Canadians. Google Search trends indicate Canadians are looking to relocate outside of city centres, into cottages or buying properties in suburban and rural areas. In fact, many of the top regions Canadians searched for “houses in …” last year were quite the opposite of your typical big city. 

The real estate industry is also seeing a lot of demand from first-time homebuyers, and we’re seeing more and more Canadians coming to Google to seek reputable advice, particularly around mortgages. In the last year, Canadians have turned to the Google to find information on mortgages, asking these top questions:

Not only has the COVID-19 pandemic made Canadians rethink their living space and location, as bank branches were forced to close and call centre wait times grew longer, Canadians increasingly turned to digital channels for their banking needs during the pandemic. In 2020, half of Canadians conducted their banking transactions online each week. With existing homeowners looking at relocating and many first-time buyers entering the market needing accurate and timely advice, Canadian financial institutions must continue to enhance and grow their digital presence to meet consumers where they’re starting their home buying journey - online.