Single Canadians are hesitant to buy a home despite having low debt and strong financial means, according to a recent RE/MAX survey conducted by research firm Leger.

Almost half of the respondents (43%) have less than $5,000 in debt, the survey found, casting doubt on claims that debt is affecting their decision to buy a home. Meanwhile, 81% of those who want to buy a home said that they have the ability to do so.

For 52% of the respondents, the decision not to buy is driven by economic uncertainty and high home prices. The survey also found that respondents living in urban areas (48%) are more hesitant to invest in housing than those living in suburban areas (43%).

"It's concerning to see qualified buyers showing hesitancy toward homeownership. Price and economic factors aside, the additional unnecessary layers of government intervention have left many feeling pushed out of the market or uncertain of it," said Christopher Alexander, executive vice president, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "However, despite these factors, it's important to remember that buying Canadian real estate is still one of the safest and most reliable financial investments one can make."

Thirty-eight percent of the respondents felt that buying a home was indeed a good investment, which was especially the case for those living in urban areas. Meanwhile, 27% of the respondents said they wanted to buy a home to have more flexibility in their living space.

Leger conducted the survey between Jan. 11-14 using its online panel, with 590 Canadians who are single, divorced, widowed or separated as its respondents.

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