Homebuying in Canada

The State of Homebuying in Canada

This article highlights recent research into homebuying activity of Canadians. We will focus on sources of financing, housing preference, and demographics. At the conclusion, the reader should have a good understanding of who is buying what, how, where, and why.

Summary

  • Three quarters of all home purchases are existing home transactions
  • Almost half of homebuyers (45%) are first-time homebuyers
  • Three-fifths of second home buyers "moved-up" (i.e. bought a home that was more expensive than the one they sold)
  • The average first-time buyer made a down payment of just over 21%
  • Almost 20% (115,000) of buyers stated that they would have either "definitely" or "probably" not been able to purchase their home if the minimum down payment were 10%
  • Gifts and loans from parents accounted for around 18% of down payments by first time homebuyers

The Survey

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) has released a report entitled "[A Profile of Homebuying in Canada]"(http://www.caamp.org/meloncms/media/Spring%202015%20Survey%20Report.pdf). The report utilizes survey data of households in Canada that purchased a home in 2013.

Analysis

The key takeaway from this survey is the inherent stability of the Canadian Housing market:

  • Households are generally getting their down payments from their own savings, though one-fifth of total down payments made by first-time homebuyers originated from their parents
  • The average down-payment is over 20%, even for first-time homebuyers. This indicates a level of financial stability among recent homebuyers and an ability to weather any potential downturn. This very ability means that a significant downturn is highly unlikely
  • An increase in the required down payment size would potentially have a significant impact on the housing market. An estimate 115,000 recent purchases would have had a difficult time buying their home if the minimum down payment were increased.