2013 First-Time Homebuyers Survey

The results were derived from an on-line survey of almost 500 First-Time Buyers from across Canada, all of whom undertook a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. The survey data was supplemented with input (qualitative research) from a series of focus group discussions with recent and prospective First-Time Buyers in Halifax, Montreal, London, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Profile of First-time Buyers

  • Almost two-thirds are younger than 35 and almost half are between 25 to 34 years of age; among repeat buyers, only 20 per cent are are under 35.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) have household incomes of $90,000 or less and one-in-five have incomes of less than $45,000.
  • 23 per cent were born outside of Canada compared to 13 per cent of repeat buyers; first timers who are immigrants are also less likely to go in for single-detached homes.
  • 72 per cent of first time buyers who are immigrants have a university degree or post-graduate studies, while 42 per cent of Canadian-born first timers are university educated.
  • First-time buyers who are immigrants tend to live in Canada for a median time of nine years before buying their own home.

Buying Behavior

  • First-time buyers buy single-detached homes at a rate of 59 per cent while 73 per cent of repeat buyers go in for the same property type.
  • 39 per cent of first-time buyers purchase a semi-detached, row/townhouses and condos, decidedly more than the 20 per cent of repeat buyers.
  • 31 per cent of first-time buyers hope to move within the next five years, compared to just 19 per cent of repeat buyers.
  • 56 per cent of first-timers believe they’ll be fixing up their property in the next five years, while only 34 per cent of seasoned buyers believe they’ll be making major repairs or improvements.
  • 76 per cent of the first-time buyers think the bill for the home repairs will be below $15,000.

Where Buyers Get Their Financing

  • While online, 79 per cent of first timers used a mortgage calculator.
  • 63 per cent of first time buyers used a broker, believing a broker would get the best mortgage rate or deal (51 per cent went with a lender).
  • 54 per cent stayed loyal to their primary financial institution, asking them to arrange their mortgage, while 68 per cent of repeat buyers stayed with their existing lender.

Download the full report from CMHC

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