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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.