2013 FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS SURVEY

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1 2013 FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS SURVEY Everything you need to open new doors

2 About this Survey CMHC is pleased to release the results of its First-Time Homebuyers Survey, providing mortgage professionals with valuable insight into this important segment of the home-buying market. The results were derived from an on-line survey of almost 500 First-Time Buyers from across Canada, all of whom undertook a mortgage transaction in the past 12 months. The survey data was supplemented with input (qualitative research) from a series of focus group discussions with recent and prospective First-Time Buyers in Halifax, Montreal, London, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. PROFILE OF FIRST-TIME BUYERS Compared to other homebuyers, First-Time Buyers are young. Almost two-thirds are younger than 35 and almost half are between 25 to 34 years of age. In comparison, only 20% of Repeat Buyers are under 35 years of age. Consistent with a younger age profile, First-Time Buyers have lower household incomes compared to other homebuyers. Nearly two-thirds (65%) have household incomes of $90 K or less (50% for Repeat Buyers) and one-in-five have incomes of less than $45 K. Although First-Time Buyers have lower household incomes, they tend to have higher levels of education compared to other mortgage consumers, with 82% having post-secondary education. One-quarter (23%) of First-Time Buyers were born outside of Canada, compared to 13% of Repeat Buyers. First-Time Buyers who are immigrants are less likely to purchase single-detached homes. Almost half (46%) live in Ontario, and most tend to live in large urban centres, with 66% living either in greater Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. First-Time Buyers who are immigrants are more likely to have more than four people living in their home (34%) than are First-Time Buyers born in Canada (15%). They are also more likely to have a university education, with 72% having a university degree or post-graduate studies. Among First-Time Buyers born in Canada, 42% are university educated. First-Time Buyers who are immigrants tend to establish themselves before purchasing a home, living in Canada for a median time of nine years before buying. 2 CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION

3 HOW FIRST-TIME BUYERS GO ABOUT PURCHASING THEIR FIRST HOME Not wanting to rent and wanting to own their home are the key reasons First-Time Buyers pursue homeownership. Together, these factors account for 41% of the motivation for a first-home purchase. Qualitative research reveals that the specific reasons for buying can vary. First-Time Buyers typically take three months longer than Repeat Buyers to plan their home purchase, with a median of 10 months of planning. Although both First-Time Buyers and Repeat Buyers predominately purchase single-detached homes (59% and 73% respectively), First-Time Buyers are more likely than Repeat Buyers to purchase semi-detached, row/townhouses and condos (39% for First-Time Buyers vs. 20% for Repeat Buyers). Qualitative research indicates that buyers use a wide range of criteria when choosing a first home, reflective of individual/family needs and preferences. For Example Space is important, a large yard is a must Commuting and transportation are important Looking for an open concept kitchen for entertaining On a bus route Near hospital Proximity to services Family friendly neighbourhood Close to relatives The majority of First-Time Buyers buy single detached homes However First-Time Buyers have greater propensity for multi-family units than Repeat Buyers 59% 73% 18% 11% 10% 5% 7% 8% Single detached semi-detached Row/Townhouse Apartment/Condo First-Time Buyers Repeat Buyers CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION 3

4 First-Time Buyers tend to want to move sooner than Repeat Buyers. The survey revealed that 31% of First-Time Buyers plan to move within the next five years, compared to 19% of Repeat Buyers. Only a small proportion (16%) of First-Time Buyers rate energy efficiency as being a very important factor in their purchase decision, and the qualitative research indicates this factor is low on their list of priorities. Slightly more than half (56%) of First-Time Buyers anticipate making major repairs or improvements to their home in the next five years. However, only about one-third (34%) expect to do this in the first year of homeownership, compared to 50% among Repeat Buyers. In most cases (76%), First-Time Buyers anticipate the repairs or improvements will cost under $15 K. Interesting, but was not a motivating factor in my decision. If there were two properties that were similar, I would definitely choose the more energy-efficient one. HOW FIRST-TIME BUYERS GO ABOUT GETTING A MORTGAGE First-Time Buyers have high mortgage information needs. They are more likely to research online (77%) compared to Repeat Buyers (68%), and consult different types of websites to gather information about mortgages. They show a preference for using search engines (63%). While using a search engine, 80% of First-Time Buyers research interest rates and about three-quarters look either for information about mortgage options or mortgage calculators. Compared to Repeat Buyers, First-Time Buyers are more likely to ask to be contacted online (32% vs. 25%) and to submit a question online (28% vs. 17%). Nearly two-thirds (61%) of First-Time Buyers conducting research online visit lender sites, while about one-third (31%) visit mortgage broker sites. First-Time Buyers use search engine for a variety of information Information searched using a search engine 90% 80% 78% 77% 69% 68% 72% 29% 32% 18% Interest rate Mortgage options Mortgage calculator Home buying info General lender info First-Time Buyers Repeat Buyers 4 CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION

5 While online, most (79%) First-Time Buyers use a mortgage calculator. Almost three-quarters (72%) of these use a calculator to determine mortgage payment amounts, and 65% use a calculator to determine how large a mortgage they can afford. However, qualitative research indicates that although mortgage calculators are viewed as useful, many First-Time Buyers still want personal service from their mortgage professional, especially when determining how much mortgage they can afford. Qualitative research shows that First-Time Buyers do their homework when obtaining a mortgage. They consider referrals, do their own research and shop around until they find the right mortgage professional. Especially with the Internet now... Now we Google everything and get so many facts and opinions. Must at least inform oneself. Went online and did it once, but really did not rely on it - we depended on bank and would rather take numbers directly from the bank. First-Time Buyers interact with many types of individuals during the mortgage planning process. While the majority of both First-Time and Repeat Buyers are likely to interact with mortgage lenders (74% and 81% respectively), First-Time Buyers are more likely to interact with brokers (55%) compared to Repeat Buyers (35%). During the mortgage planning process, brokers appear to have a greater influence on First-Time Buyers than do lenders. Among those consulting a broker, 58% report being greatly influenced by the broker. This compares to 46% of First-Time Buyers who believe their lender exerted a great deal of influence over their mortgage decision. Compared to Repeat Buyers, First-Time Buyers are more influenced by family (48% vs. 36%) and real estate agents (29% vs. 21%). However, their level of confidence in their mortgage decisions is lower than for Repeat Buyers. Less than 50% of First-Time Buyers totally agree that they got the best mortgage deal for their needs; that they had a good understanding of mortgage options; and that the process of getting a mortgage was easy and straightforward. Qualitative research also indicates that they desire more complete and accessible information on a variety of topics. Following the property search, it would be nice to have a site with all the steps to purchase a house. There should also be explanations for each step. A kind of interactive checklist, so that we feel we have not forgotten steps... a site with expert advice, access to an online expert to whom we can ask questions. It is important that the expert be accessible at any time of the day. Want to access people with authority, knowledge and who are professional. Family and Real Estate Agents more likely to influence First-Time Buyers than Repeat Buyers A great deal of influence 58% 56% 46% 47% 48% 36% 29% 21% Broker Lender Family Real Estate Agent Mortgage Professional Referral First-Time Buyers Repeat Buyers CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION 5

6 FIRST-TIME BUYER EXPERIENCE WITH LENDERS AND BROKERS Mortgage brokers account for half (49%) of all mortgage originations among First-Time Buyers, compared to 34% among Repeat Buyers. Broker use among First-Time Buyers tends to be higher among those living in urban centres, those buying apartments/condominiums and new Canadians. The use of brokers by First-Time Buyers is somewhat lower in Quebec and among those buying single-detached homes. Both the qualitative research and online survey results show that broker share among First-Time Buyers is mainly driven by a desire for lower interest rates and personal service. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of First-Time Buyers indicate that their decision to use a broker was greatly influenced by the perception that a broker would get the best mortgage rate or deal. This compares to 51% of First-Time Buyers using a lender. Half also felt that using a broker would be more convenient and save time, compared to 39% among those using a lender. Have experience with mortgage broker. We had a very good broker and she gave us a rate much better than the banks were offering at that time. 6 CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION

7 When it comes to providing advice or guidance, First-Time Buyers are served equally well by brokers and lenders. Brokers and lenders both provide advice about fixed vs. variable rates to about 70% of their First-Time Buyer clients. About 60% to two-thirds of First-Time Buyers receive advice from lenders and brokers on how much mortgage they can afford or on specifics regarding their mortgage. Advice received from brokers is generally considered by First-Time Buyers to be more useful than advice provided by lenders. Advice from brokers viewed to be more useful First-Time Buyers were equally served by Brokers and Lenders when it comes to providing advice; however, advice from Brokers was generally viewed as more useful Rated advice as Very Useful Broker Users Lender Users Specifics regarding terms and conditions of mortgage 69% 61% Fixed or variable rates 62% 51% Recommendations to accelerate mortgage payments 67% 54% Long term mortgage/financial strategies 59% 46% Mortgage you can afford 71% 60% Slightly more than half (54%) of First-Time Buyers arrange their mortgage with their primary financial institution. By comparison, 68% of Repeat Buyers remain loyal to their existing lender when arranging their mortgage. By far the most common reason First-Time Buyers change financial institutions for their mortgage is to secure a better interest rate (72%), followed by better product terms and conditions (41%), being referred to a new lender (36%) and better customer service (28%). Most First-Time Buyers (about three-quarters) are satisfied with their mortgage professional, whether a lender or a broker. However, broker clients tend to show a greater likelihood of using their broker again in the future. Almost half (45%), totally agree they would use their broker to arrange their next mortgage transaction. Only one-third (34%) of those using a lender totally agree they would use their lender for their next mortgage. Similarly, 48% of broker clients totally agree that they are likely to recommend their broker to family or friends, compared to 32% of lender clients. CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION 7

8 CMHC offers a number of online tools and a wide variety of housing information to support Canadians in making informed and responsible homebuying decisions as they pursue their housing needs. EverythingYouNeed.ca Visit EverythingYouNeed.ca and access a wealth of mortgage and housing information. Drawing on more than 65 years of experience CMHC helps you stay informed and become trusted advisors to your clients. cmhc.ca/newcomers Are your clients new to Canada? Visit cmhc.ca/newcomers and make sure they re well informed by providing them with relevant housing information in their own native language! Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation material is the property of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This presentation material may not be reproduced, copied, or distributed, in whole or in part, in any form, without the prior written permission of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The information, analyses, and opinions contained in this presentation material are based on various sources believed reliable, but their accuracy, completeness, and currency cannot be guaranteed. This presentation material is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or entity, and should not be relied upon in that regard. Neither CMHC nor its employees, agents, and advisors shall have any liability for actions or decisions taken based in whole or in part on any information or analysis in this presentation material.

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