houses Flickr photo by  Mister Wind-Up Bird What do buyers want when choosing a location for their new home? According to a new BMO survey of Canadians looking into picking up a new property, that all depends on where you live and whether or not you’re buying your first home.

When deciding on an address, the top consideration for Canadian home-hunters was safety: 63 per cent saw living in a safe area as a priority. And first-time buyers largely agreed, with 62 per cent of them also naming it a key consideration.

But one way new buyers differed from more experienced house-seekers was how much emphasis they put on having a fast commute. About 34 per cent of first-time buyers saw it as a priority, compared to 28 per cent of buyers nationally.

Also in line with the importance of a breezy commute to work, first time buyers also valued access to public transit much more: 28 per cent saw it as a priority, compared to the 19 per cent that saw it as such nationally.

Interestingly, first-time buyers valued the short commute to work above living near friends and family as only 20 per cent of them saw it as a location priority. Perhaps they were more concerned about making it to time on work so they could pay off that first mortgage?

Regionally, some of these location must-haves change considerably. Interestingly, the need for a safe neighbourhood drops below the national average in big cities such as Toronto, where 60 per cent (the lowest national average) saw it as a big priority. Manitoba and Saskatchewan saw the highest concern for safe streets with 73 per cent of would-be buyers concerned about how they felt in the neighbourhood.

For a complete breakdown of the survey stats below, see the table below…

BMO Survey location priorites

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