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

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Courtenay artist Bill Bolten recently presented Dr. Bonnie Henry with this carving of a yellow warbler. Photo supplied.
Courtenay carver creates gift for Dr. Bonnie Henry

Bill Bolten presented the carving to B.C.’s public health officer in person

Painters Jim Tulip, Doug Mackenzie and Gary Henslowe were painting the exterior of the Duncan Butcher Shop and Apple Press printing shop, located between the Trans Canada Highway and Whistler Street, on Oct. 8 as part of neighbourhood painting project. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan’s Whistler Street sees a fresh lick of paint in opioid battle

Group wants to help clean up community, one street at a time

Maureen Cue, owner of Disguise the Limit costume shop, models – maybe the most obvious – pandemic costume. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Vancouver Island costume expert showcases pandemic-safe Halloween looks

Maureen Cue models the best masked Halloween costumes

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’

Visitors stroll through Goldstream Provincial Park on a calm, crisp Sunday. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

File Photo
Planned power outage in Port Alice Oct. 27

BC Hydro crews to work from midnight to 4 a.m. replacing substation equipment

Greg Duerksen and his family. (gofundme photo)
Firefighter prepares for stem cell transplant

Friends rally to help raise funds for Duerksen family

Legendary Vancouver-based blues and jazz guitarist and vocalist Jim Byrnes will perform live at the Tidemark Theatre in a concert that will also be streamed. Contributed photo
Legendary blues musician and actor Jim Byrnes hits the Island

Playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre for a hybrid live/online show

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

Most Read