first-time home buyers canada

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First time home buyers in Canada paid a median price of $293,000 in their foray into the market according to a new survey from Genworth Canada.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Vancouver, the country’s most expensive market, that had the highest price of entry into the housing market. Toronto, where the average price for a resale home just hit $613,933 in March, had the highest median price for first-time buyers at $425,000. Vancouver followed closely with a median of $420,000.

Median price paid by first-time home buyers

That may be due to the fact that a larger amount of Vancouverites went the condo route. The survey of 1,800 Canadians found that 47 per cent of Vancouver first-timers were buying suites, compared to 39 per cent in Toronto. Montreal had 40 per cent purchase a condo while only 7 per cent in Atlantic Canada did the same.

About 63 per cent of first-time buyers had a down payment that was less than 20 per cent. Country-wide the median was 12 per cent, though that amount differed quite a bit between markets.

Though Vancouver and Toronto are the most expensive, the median down payment levels were higher at 20 and 21 per cent, respectively, a phenomenon that Genworth says is “driven by higher savings and larger gifts or loans from a family member in those markets.” The survey found 35 per cent of Toronto first-time buyers and 40 per cent in Vancouver had a gift or loan from their families, compared to 28 per cent nation-wide.

Median down payments of first-time home buyers

About three quarters of the buyers were 34-years old or younger, or part of the Millennial generation. For those surveyed, 80 per cent said they purchased a resale property. However, 31 per cent of Calgary first-timers and 36 per cent in Vancouver bought a new home.

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