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Canadians eye rural homes, vehicle purchases

Thirty-one per cent of Canadians are considering relocating due to the pandemic and more than one third are eyeing a semi-rural or rural location, according to a national survey conducted for Aviva Canada by Leger Canada.

The How We Live report reveals shifts in consumer behaviours and patterns, with the move to rural communities among the many changes. The study is divided into five sections, with the fifth chapter focusing on transportation: changing habits and the future of the commute.

“While the reduction in driving is temporary, Canadians’ attitudes towards public transportation may have permanently changed due to COVID-19 impacting the ways in which people view commuting in the future,” said Aviva Canada in its report. 

Nearly 60% of Canadians are either not at all likely, or unlikely to use public transportation or ride-sharing services in the future, and are much more likely to use their own vehicle for transportation. And one in five said they feel their transportation habits will be affected as company work-from-home protocols change post-crisis.

Looking back at 2020, the demand for vehicles increased across the country. Eight per cent of  Canadians said they had purchased a new or used car in the past three months, and an additional 15% are looking to purchase a new or used car in the next six months—this, during the third wave of the pandemic.

Slightly more Canadians also purchased a new home or condo within the last three months compared to the second wave, and more consumers also plan to buy in the coming months versus the second wave. 

“According to a survey done by autotrader.ca, 46% of people interested in buying a new vehicle specifically state the pandemic as a direct reason to avoid public transportation in the future,” said Aviva Canada. “Men are slightly more likely to consider purchasing a new vehicle over the next six months (19%) compared to women (12%).”

The full report can be found here.

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