Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald
First-time homebuyers are being described as the “engine” that is driving the housing market in Canada.
A national survey conducted by Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services shows that 43 per cent of first-time homebuyers believe they are in good or great financial shape. The annual poll asked 1,533 Canadians questions about their financial well-being and revealed that almost one-third of first-time buyers who purchased a home in the past two years, or future intenders, believe now is a good time to buy, up 25 per cent from last year. Also, 64 per cent say they enjoy planning their financial future and 59 per cent say they managed to save for their down payment within two years or less. “First-time homebuyers are the engine that will drive the housing market in the next few years,” says Brian Hurley, chairman and chief executive of Genworth Canada.
Other survey results for first-time buyers are: 94 per cent say even though it means more work and effort, they’d rather own a home than rent; 94 per cent say owning their own home provides a greater sense of emotional well-being and security; 60 per cent say they have a long-term financial plan for retirement they are working towards; 58 per cent say their goal is to pay off their mortgage as fast as possible, even if it means scrimping and saving and foregoing a lifestyle and activities that their peers enjoy; 36 per cent say they were able to pay off all their bills and save money in the past year; 72 per cent say they expect their financial situation to improve in the next year, whereas only 54 per cent of Canadians who do not own a home say they are expecting any improvement in their financial fitness in the next 12 months.