Buying and selling a home comes with a lot of questions. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

COVID-19 is reshaping what first-time homebuyers are looking for: BMO survey

Still, 40 per cent of potential first-time home owners think now is a good time to buy

The pandemic has reshaped the needs of first-time homebuyers in Canada but COVID-19 isn’t causing too much hesitation in buying, a Bank of Montreal report suggests.

According to results from a recent survey, conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, found that the average first-time home buyer is looking to spend about $432,000 with more than 40 per cent of the 801 adults polled saying they believe now is a good time to buy.

Broken down by province, that stat increases to 60 per cent in Alberta and the Prairies while dropping to 33 per cent in Ontario and B.C. where prices have stayed relatively status quo through the pandemic.

The biggest impact COVID-19 has had on the market among aspiring home owners is the type of property looking to be purchased, the survey found.

Twenty nine per cent of those surveyed said they’re changing their search from a major city to the suburbs or a rural area. As well, with working from home becoming more prevalent, a quarter of respondents said they’re moving their search away from a condo or townhome to a detached home.

Hassan Pirnia, head of personal lending and home financing for BMO, says it is encouraging to see Canadians maintaining their optimism in the housing market.

“While many buyers are viewing the market favourably, households are facing stronger headwinds than they have in the recent past,” Pirnia said. “As buyers look to enter the market, we should expect to see a continued trend where they are exploring different financial options to help with the purchase.”

The size of the mortgage first-time buyers are looking to take out has also been influenced by COVID, the survey found.

About half of buyers have had to tap into their down payments to help cover unexpected costs over the last several months, BMO said. A quarter of first-time homebuyers have said that they will have to take out a larger mortgage – with Ontario and B.C. buyers saying they more the most likely to opt for mortgages at 30 and 26 per cent, respectively.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Real estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jeremiah Salahub, 41, (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Surrey RCMP looking for man reported missing in Newton

Jeremiah Salahub, 41, was last seen 3 p.m. Oct. 21, at 72 Avenue and King George Boulevard

(File photo: Amy Reid)
‘It’s not a surprise’: Surrey’s extreme weather shelter coordinator ‘desperate’ for spaces

Jonquil Hallgate says temperature expected to drop over the weekend

Police investigating multiple stabbing at a Newton townhouse on Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Man charged with murder, aggravated assault in Newton townhouse stabbings

Harpreet Singh is to appear in Surrey provincial court on Oct. 29

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s Senator Reid reporting first COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen have agreed to a two-year deal with an average annual salary of $2.55 million. (@Canucks Twitter photo)
Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks agree to two-year deal

Two sides avoid arbitration, Virtanen will receive average annual salary of $2.55 million

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Most Read