Know your clients: First-time homebuyer study

by Justin da Rosa on 15 May 2017
A comprehensive new report tells agents what makes these clients tick.

Genworth Canada, one of the country’s mortgage default insurers, released a study on first-time homebuyers to help the industry, including real estate agents, gain insight into those homebuyers purchasing habits. 

"From the perspective of a mortgage insurer, these first-time homebuyers possess a positive profile which includes full-time jobs and incomes to support their monthly mortgage payments,” Stuart Levings, President and CEO, Genworth Canada, said. They are financially responsible and looking for the benefits associated with long-term homeownership."

The study found 48% of first-time homeowners feel they are in “good financial shape.”

First-time homebuyers are usually fully employed (84%) and many (48%) work in a private business.

The majority (61%) have a university degree.

“The results of the study in 2017 compared to 2015, showed a slight decline in the perception that owning a home was a wise financial decision (49% down from 53%) likely due to current house prices being much higher than in 2015,” Genworth said in a release. “In addition, first-time homebuyers were less confident they could afford a home (39% down from 44%).”

Due to stricter qualification rules for buying homes with less than 20% down, 57% of respondents said it’s more difficult to buy a home today than it was in the past.

The study, which included 1,803 interviews conducted earlier this year with people aged 25-40 who had purchased their first home within the past two years, also found 51% of first-timers view that purchase as a mere starter home.

Toronto-based buyers, however, are more likely (57%) to view their home as a starter.

Buyer sin Alberta outside of Calgary are more likely to see their home as permanent but needing renovation (28%) compared to the rest of the country (18%).

The study also found the median price paid for a home is $310,000 and that the median downpayment is $35,000.

The median mortgage size, meanwhile, is $254,000 at 12% of the total home cost.

Related stories:
New housing plan splits opinion
Finance Minister requests policy meetings re: Toronto home price growth

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