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Young Canadian homeowners consider risks of severe weather when buying a home: survey


Raging wildfires, severe storms and extreme flooding are some examples of unprecedented weather events caused by climate change that have devastated communities and destroyed homes in recent months.

As younger Canadians around the country prepare to purchase a home, a new survey conducted by Leger for and BNN Bloomberg reveals that many consider the risks of severe weather caused by climate-change when choosing where to settle down.

“We are living with the effects of climate change, and the results of the survey show that a growing number of Canadian homeowners are both aware of the risk and are taking steps to mitigate risk in where they choose to live or through additional insurance endorsements,” John Shmuel, managing editor of, said in a press release.

The online survey gathered data from 1,525 Canadians over the age of 18 in June 2023 and found young homeowners are the most concerned about the effects of climate change-induced extreme weather when buying a home. More than a third of homeowners surveyed said they considered the risks of extreme weather when deciding which location to purchase a home in. Within this group, 64 per cent of respondents were young Canadians, aged 18 to 34.

Meanwhile, 63 per cent of older homeowners between the ages 35 and 54 were less likely to consider extreme weather risks when buying a home, and the same appeared to be true for 68 per cent of those 55 and older, according to the survey.

Leger's data also shows as the severity and frequency of severe weather events increases, such as raging wildfires in parts of the country or extreme flooding in parts of Alberta and Ontario, the effects on the housing market are becoming more apparent.

For example, a University of Waterloo study revealed that in the eight years prior to 2022, catastrophic flooding in Canadian communities led to an 8.2 per cent decrease in the final sale of house prices, a 44.3 per cent reduction in the number of houses listed for sale, and houses were found to be on the market for 19.8 per cent more days before being sold.

The survey showed that those who bought their homes in the last two years were twice as likely to consider the risks of climate change-induced extreme weather compared to those who bought their home more than two years ago.

Three in ten homeowners in the last two years took out additional insurance endorsements to protect their homes from extreme weather conditions, according to the survey.

“Canadian homeowners are paying closer attention to flood and wildfire risk when purchasing a home,” Blair Feltmate, head of Intact Centre on Climate Adaption at the University of Waterloo, said in a press release. “With the impact of [extreme weather] featuring almost nightly on newscasts, homeowners are also increasingly aware of how flooding in communities can affect a home’s value.” Top Stories

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