foop meaning

FOOP is the new FOMO for anyone who wants to buy a home in Toronto

It seems like just yesterday that everyone and their mother was (literally) clamoring to enter Toronto's hot-as-fire real estate market, keen on the type of capital gains experienced by those who bought property pre-2020 and saw their assets soar during the pandemic.

As one well-meaning mortgage broker told this reporter in late 2021, "there's never a bad time to buy a home in this city."

He was wrong... at least in the short term.

Someone who had pulled the trigger on a home purchase when the GTA market peaked in February would be down hundreds of thousands of dollars on their investment by now (more, if they bought in the suburbs,) and a steep decline in prices across the region shows no sign of letting up any time soon.

Whether the Toronto real estate bubble has popped completely, or simply sprang a leak that experts believe can be patched right up by shifting interest rates and rising immigration levels in the years to come, now is not a time of great buyer confidence.

This much is clear when looking at sinking sales numbers — a market glut that at least one firm believes has been driven, in part, by something they've coined "FOOP": Fear Of Overpaying.

The term is quite obviously derived from the acronym FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out,) which worked its way into the popular lexicon sometime in the mid-2000s.

"Canadians across the country are experiencing fear of overpaying, a.k.a. real estate FOOP. It's no surprise following two years of real estate ups and downs, with many cities seeing record-breaking price gains just this past February," reads a new report from Zoocasa released on Tuesday.

"FOOP can be a powerful feeling, and as interest rates continue to climb, many would-be buyers and sellers are choosing to wait it out on the sidelines."

The digital brokerage and analysis firm explores a number of factors that may be influencing buyer hesitancy, noting that "list and sale prices are trending down in many cities, and homes aren't being snatched up quite as quickly as they were this time last year."

Interest rate hikes have also slowed down sales in many major Canadian cities (including Toronto,) subsequently boosting inventory, cooling prices and even making way for people to buy homes below asking (something that would have seemed ludicrious in 2021).

People still want to buy homes, according to a recent Zoocasa report, but they're not keen to do until things settle down; A recent survey by the brokerage saw 60 per cent of respondents indicate that, while they were "looking to buy a home in the near future," some 50 per cent were planning to wait at least a year to do so.

You can learn more about the FOOP phenomenon (not to be confused with fish poop products) or the and what it means here, but do take it all with a grain of salt.

Every market is different, metrics are always changing, and every analyst seems to have their own take on whether it's a good time to buy, rent or leave Toronto completely at any given time.

Lead photo by

Lauren O'Neil

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