Younger Canadians buying homes sooner than planned

Daisy Ratnasari

As the cost of real estate soars across Canada — particularly in large markets such as Vancouver and Toronto — younger Canadians appear to be buying their first homes sooner than they planned.

This is according to the results of an RBC survey entitled First-Time Homebuyer Trade-Off Survey.

As the name suggests, purchases by those under 30 are being made earlier due to young buyers’ willingness to compromise.

“There’s no question that housing affordability continues to be a challenge, but their willingness or ability to make bigger trade offs can put them in a position to start building financial wealth through homeownership,” Karen Stairns, CEO of RBC’s Houseful group, told CityNews.

Buyers under 30 have adapted a “pragmatic” approach to the market, being more flexible in their decisions, the report says. This means that instead of seeking their “forever home” right off the bat, the younger generation is prioritizing finding a home thats right for them, right now.

Stairns says some of the trade-offs this group is willing to make include buying smaller homes.

“First-time homebuyers under 30 are willing to embrace smaller living spaces,” she said.

“65 per cent of homebuyers under 30 told us that compared to those over 30 were slightly under 15 per cent.”

Other compromises include expanding their location preferences and prioritizing homes that are right for them at their current stage of life.

“They’re looking at the flexibility they have at this stage of life, their current lifestyle, maybe they’re living alone or with a partner,” Stairs said.

“Perhaps they don’t have children yet. Perhaps they have remote or hybrid work.”

According to the report, only 18 per cent of buyers over 30 end up buying their first homes sooner than they expected.

With files from Maria Vinca.

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