Millennial First Time Home Buyers

In late March, RE/MAX measured attitudes and trends among Canadians with a focus on millennials – our newest buyer group. The results were very insightful with two significant key findings. Not only are millennials optimistic about their future, they are demonstrating themselves to be financially responsible, understanding the importance of a downpayment while keeping other financial priorities top of mind such as saving for their retirement.

The poll, conducted by Leger found that 78.5 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that owning a home they love is attainable. This was true in all provinces as Canadians overwhelmingly agree that homeownership is attainable, despite price appreciation in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Of course, home ownership optimism and confidence in employment go hand-in-hand. So it became less surprising that the survey also found that 81.6 per cent of Canadians 18-34 agree that finding a good job In their field is attainable, demonstrating overall optimism about their future.

While millennials are optimistic about homeownership, many do expect help in order to make their dreams a reality. Of Canadians 18-34 who are considering buying a home, 37 per cent expect help with their downpayment from a family member or friend. Of those who are expecting help, 60 per cent anticipate that it will come from their parents. Unsurprisingly given the higher home prices in these regions, prospective buyers in all age demographics in British Columbia are most likely to expect help, followed by those in Ontario. When we reached out to our national network, we found this to be true for not just Toronto and Vancouver, but their surrounding regions as well, which have also seen real estate prices appreciate greatly over the past few years. As many parents have watched their own real estate investments appreciate in value, many are in a position to help their millennial children finance their properties.

Our survey found that for many young Canadians, homeownership is an important milestone they are actively working toward. 68.2 per cent of Canadians aged 18-34 agree that saving for a downpayment is a priority and 78.4 per cent agree that saving for retirement is a priority. So while Canadians continue to value and aspire to homeownership, they are not doing so at the expense of other financial considerations, such as retirement savings.

/ The survey, conducted by Leger, surveyed 1,516 Canadians between Monday, March 28, and Thursday, March, 31, 2016.