This year, many Canadians spent less money on travelling and vacations and a lot more on hand sanitizer, face masks and toilet paper.

Now, ahead of the new year, experts are predicting what 2021 in Canada will look like and some believe we’ll be dropping more cash than ever before.

Next year, essentials like groceries and housing are expected to get more expensive, while gas and discretionary experiences like air travel could become cheaper.

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Groceries & Essentials

Earlier this month, Canada's Food Price Report 2021 predicted that overall food prices will increase between 3% and 5% over the next 12 months.

Certain products are set to become particularly expensive, with meat and vegetables expected to climb in cost by up to 6.5%.

Baked goods may also get pricier, with costs likely to rise by an additional 5.5%, while fruit could cost 4% extra.

Per the report, which comes from Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph, as well as the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia, a four-person family can expect to spend a whopping $13,907 on groceries next year.

There are multiple reasons for the expected price surge, many related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Border and facility closures, changes to production, manufacturing and distribution, unemployment issues and changes to retail practices are all reasons likely to have an impact.

Housing & Mortgage Rates

If you were hoping to get on the property ladder in 2021, things might get more expensive.

On December 15, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) predicted that the national average price would rise by 9.1% next year.

Per their report, an average Canadian property will cost $620,400, with price trends over the year expected to resemble 2020.

In Ontario and Quebec, a limited supply of homes will drive prices up, while provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan are anticipated to see higher price tags after several years of depreciation.

On the other hand, mortgage rates are expected to stay low.

In December, one bank offered a 1% mortgage rate to eligible Canadians and reports suggest the cost of borrowing should remain similarly low into the new year.

Gas, Travel & More

Like other essential items, retail costs will likely continue to increase next year.

Items like clothing, toiletries and other similar products may get higher as businesses and companies pay-out more for the costs associated with the pandemic.

However, it’s not all bad!

With more people working from home and travelling less, gas prices sank in 2020 and could continue to do the same in 2021.

Experts told CTV News that a gas cost hike is “unlikely” any time soon, particularly if COVID-19 continues to be a concern.

The cost of travel experiences is expected to fluctuate depending on how the pandemic progresses, with super-low prices set to stick around while COVID-19 remains an issue.

However, as more and more people get vaccinated and demand for travel resurges, costs could rise again as quickly as they fell.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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