Genworth Canada conducted a study in 2019 about first-time home ownership in Canada, to search for some insight into Canada’s first-time home buying trends.
The study included responses from over 1,800 Canadians aged 25-40 who purchased their first home within the previous two years.
In this article, I am going to cover the top 5 interesting things that came out of that study.
1. A lot of first-time homebuyers are pragmatic millennials.
Millennials make up a big part of the first time home buyer demographic in Canada. In 2015, about 55% of millennials reported owning their own home, and in 2019 that number was up to 60%. The homeownership rate of all Canadians is 68 per cent, according to the 2016 Census.
2. Most first-time homebuyers are driven by price.
If you live anywhere in Canada, you’ve heard a lot about the affordability (or lack thereof) of the real estate markets in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. This study found that PRICE was the top consideration for about 95% of first time buyers.
3. Newcomers represent an important and growing segment of the first-time homebuyer space.
At the national level, 25% of all first-time home buyers were immigrants. This number jumps up to over 40% if we look specifically at the Vancouver and Toronto markets. It’s no doubt that with robust immigration policies in place, Canada will continue to attract immigrants (and in turn, the demand for homes will continue to go up).
4. More gifts and loans for down payment
The study found that in 2019, about 37% of first time home buyers received a gift (or a loan) from family - presumably what we call The Bank of Mom & Dad. This was up significantly from 32 per cent in the 2017 study. About half of those who received a gift or loan from family say that without that help, they would have had to put off buying a home for a significant period of time so that they could save for the down payment.
5. Condominium purchases are growing.
The study shows that more and more condos are being purchased by first time home buyers. In 2017, first time home buyers made up about 16% of the national condo market. Two years later, in 2019, this number jumped up to 21%. It probably has to do in part with affordability, especially in the two major Canadian markets of Toronto and Vancouver, where it is reasonable to expect that first time home buyers would only be able to afford up to a certain price point.
These were 5 interesting things that I got out of the 2019 Genworth Canada First Time Home Ownership Study.
If you are a first time home buyer (or planning to be) and you have questions about the home buying process, the mortgage process, or anything related to real estate, book a complimentary consultation today.