Canadian Newcomers Represent One in Every Five Homebuyers: Survey

According to a survey commissioned by Royal LePage, newcomers represent one in every five homebuyers (21 per cent) in Canada. If the current international migration level is maintained, Royal Lepage says newcomers are expected to purchase 680,000 homes over the next five years.

“In addition to supporting Canada’s economic growth, newcomers to Canada are vital to the health of our national real estate market,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “The combined demand for affordable housing among younger Canadians and new Canadians can be met through housing policies that encourage smart and sustainable development, with a focus on protecting and developing green spaces in our urban centres. Canada’s economy and labour markets are expanding and it is crucial that housing supply keeps pace.”

Eighty-six per cent of newcomers see real estate as a good investment and 75 per cent arrive with savings to help purchase a property.

The study showed that newcomers wait three years before purchasing a home after arriving in the country. Sixty-four per cent of respondents rent their first home, 15 per cent purchase, and 18 per cent choose to first live with family or friends at little or no cost.

Despite the desire to purchase a home, the homeownership rate of newcomers is only 32 per cent. The overall homeownership rate for all Canadians is 68 per cent.

Of those who purchase a home, 51 per cent of newcomers buy a detached house, 18 per cent buy a condominium, 15 per cent buy a townhouse and 13 per cent buy a semi-detached house.

Nationally, 82 per cent of respondents remain in the region of their first residence. Those who relocate cited a better job as the most popular reason for moving (41 per cent), followed by lifestyle (13 per cent), and housing affordability allowing the respondent to purchase a home (12 per cent).

Ontario accounts for approximately 46 per cent of all international migration to Canada, with 32 per cent of homeownership residing in the GTA and Ottawa.

In the province, 60 per cent of newcomers rent their first home, 16 per cent purchase, and 20 per cent live with family or friends at little or no cost when they arrive in Canada.

Nationally, 19 per cent of newcomers arrive in Québec to live and work. Currently newcomers also represent 19 per cent of all homebuyers in the province and they are projected to purchase 102,000 homes over the next five years at the current rate of international migration.

The survey additionally revealed that 83 per cent of newcomers in Québec still lived in their first region of residence. Seventy-one per cent of newcomers rent their first home (the highest rate in the country tied with British Columbia), 10 per cent purchase and 14 per cent live with family or friends at little or no cost when they arrive in Canada.

Eighty-three per cent of newcomers in the province state that homeownership is a good financial investment and 67 per cent come to Canada with savings that allow them to purchase property, lower than the national average (75 per cent).

British Columbia is the third most popular Canadian destination for international migration. The homeownership rate of newcomers residing in Greater Vancouver is 32 per cent, similar to both the provincial and national average (32 per cent).

Seventy-two per cent of newcomers rent their first home and 9 per cent purchase, while 13 per cent live with family or friends at little or no cost when they arrive in Canada.

The percentage of respondents who arrive in British Columbia as part of a family with children is 32 per cent. The second most popular response is student (28 per cent), followed by sole applicant (20 per cent), and couples with no children (14 per cent).

Alberta newcomers have a high homeownership rate with 45 per cent owning their home. Newcomers represent 18 per cent of all homebuyers in the province and they are projected to purchase 76,000 homes in the region over the next five years at the current rate of international migration.

The largest group of respondents is families with children (34 per cent), while 29 per cent come as sole applicants. The percentage of newcomers arriving as sole applicants is higher than the national average (20 per cent). Fifty-two per cent of Alberta respondents (the largest region by percentage) say they have children in their household under 18 years old.

The Prairies attracts approximately 8 per cent of Canada’s international migration and 41 per cent of newcomers own their home.

In the province, 62 per cent of newcomers rent their first home, 20 per cent purchase and 17 per cent live with family or friends at little or no cost when they arrive in Canada.

Newcomers represent 41 per cent of all homebuyers in the region and they are projected to purchase 71,000 homes over the next five years.

In Atlantic Canada, newcomers have a homeownership rate of 44 per cent, 12 percentage points higher than the national average (32 per cent). Newcomers represent 31 per cent of all homebuyers in the region and they are projected to purchase 43,000 homes over the next five years.

The survey highlights 63 per cent of newcomers in the region rent their first home, 20 per cent purchase and 18 per cent live with family or friends at little or no cost when they arrive in Canada.

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