Daydreaming young couple at home

While Canadians’ financial confidence has remained largely even-keeled in recent months, housing costs are increasingly a worry, finds BMO’s financial progress index, released on Thursday.

The index, launched about a year ago, indicates how consumers feel about their personal finances and whether they’re making financial progress.

The latest reading was based on research conducted Jan. 7 to Jan. 28 with a sample of 3,401 Canadian adults weighted to reflect the population.

About three-quarters (76%) of the sample were confident in their current financial situations, which BMO described as consistent with the previous quarter and one year ago.

And just over half of Canadians surveyed (55%) were making financial progress by continuing to set and achieve financial goals.

However, the index found increased worry about housing costs, providing insight on a key area where advisors can help with planning.

The proportion of gen-Z respondents who cited worry about housing costs increased by five points compared to the previous quarter, the index found. The proportion of respondents overall who cited the worry increased by three points.

Amid deteriorating housing affordability and rising interest rates, the average home price hit a record $816,720 in February.

In a survey of 2,000 Canadians released Wednesday from Mortgage Professionals Canada, only 29% of respondents said it’s a good time to buy a home. However, seven out of 10 respondents still said real estate is a good long-term investment, and about the same proportion believed housing prices would continue to rise.

Housing help is expected in the 2022 federal budget.