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

The Starbucks at 3849 Cadboro Bay Rd. closed permanently on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Google Maps)
Cadboro Bay Starbucks closes despite petition signed by nearly 250 residents

Closure part of transition to more drive-thru locations, Starbucks spokesperson says

Theft of $120 in Sharpie is among the files Oak Bay Police Department responded to last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man steals $120 worth of Sharpies from Oak Bay Village

Police respond to daytime break-in and theft, among other calls last week

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

The iconic and well-loved live music venue Logan’s is permanently closing its doors due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Google Maps)
Fernwood pub Logan’s permanently closing its doors

Live music venue unable to weather COVID-19 storm

Shawn Magnus of Sidney Courier has partnered with Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for free commercial delivery for society members. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney business association partners with courier for free commercial delivery

Service started Oct. 26 and extends to a radius of 35 kilometres

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A picture of John taken at Children’s Hospital Vancouver last week. Photo courtesy, Alicia Sewid.
RCMP investigating after young boy run over by SUV in Campbell River parking lot

The seven-year-old has multiple injuries including a broken pelvis and was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A video message from Mrime Minister Justin Trudeau was streamed to attendees at the State of the Island Economic Summit on Tuesday morning. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance image)
Prime minister greets Vancouver Island economic summit attendees

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance conference being held virtually this week

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

Most Read