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

North Island Votes. Campbell River Mirror graphic
Babchuk declared winner in North Island

Nearly three-quarters of votes counted and mail-in ballots still to come

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Lou Champis showing off his voting sticker. (Zoe Ducklow)
Port Hardy votes!

Checking in with local voters after the ballots have been cast

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read