Toronto — Almost half of Canadians (48%) aged 18-34 years old bought a first house that was at least 21 years old, according to the TD Canada Trust Generational Homeownership Survey. On the other hand, those 55+ chose newer homes with only one-quarter (27%) of that group purchasing a property 21 years or older for their first home.

The TD Canada Trust Generational Homeownership Survey was conducted to understand the differences in behaviours and attitudes of Canadians across the generations when purchasing their first home. “The TD Canada Trust Generational Homeownership Survey showed that one of the most significant differences in behaviour for first-time home buyers across the generations is the age of the home they purchased,” says Chris Wisniewski, Group Product Manager, Real Estate Secured Lending, TD Canada Trust. “This behaviour suggests today’s first time home buyers are looking for cost-effective options, which in urban centres are often older homes.”

Possibly looking for a more affordable option, younger Canadians were the most willing to take on a fixer-upper (35%) as their first home compared to 24% of those now 55+ who did the same when they were first time homebuyers.

“While older homes often sell for a more attractive price, first-time buyers need to keep in mind that the purchase price and mortgage payments are not the only costs associated with owning a home,” says Wisniewski. “An older home may need more work which means putting some money aside for repairs and renovations. Getting a home inspection and asking an expert such as a real estate agent will help you estimate some of these additional costs before you buy.”

The location of their first home was a key factor for all Canadians, but younger first-time buyers were most likely to admit that location was a top priority for them (78% vs. 70% of 35-54, and 64% of 55+). And younger Canadians are most likely to have selected a city or town (64% vs. 50% of 55+) for their first home purchase as opposed to suburbs (28% vs. 35% of 55+) or rural location (8% vs. 14% of 55+).

Indicative of their preference for city living and the wide availability of condos in urban markets, when asked what type of home they purchased, younger Canadians, 18-34, were more likely than other groups to purchase a condo as their first home (18% vs. 9% of Canadians), but the majority did buy a house (65%).

While there are more condominium options than ever before in Canada, first-time buyers today are still looking for traditional houses no matter the age or location of the property. Seventy-five per cent of first time buyers across the generations purchased a house.

Read the full press release, here.

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