August 21, 2019

Women more likely to be first-time homebuyers, Canadian poll finds

Down payment a top concern among women

By Mario Toneguzzi, Calgary Herald
Women are more likely than men to be first-time homebuyers among Canadians who plan to buy a home within the next two years, according to the 19th Annual RBC Homeownership Poll released Monday.

The poll said 49 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men plan to be first-time homebuyers.

“We are seeing more single women entering into the housing market, as income levels, changing demographics and lifestyle patterns shift purchasing habits,” said Marcia Moffat, head of home equity financing, RBC. “But women are being more cautious than men, weighing cost, affordability and job security before buying a home.”

Of the Canadians who have recently become first-time homebuyers, men and women were tied (47 per cent) in saying affordability was the biggest concern that prevented them from purchasing a home earlier.

Other reasons that caused people to delay their first home purchase were: not interested/ready for home ownership, 25 per cent women, 14 per cent men; unsure of job security, 23 per cent women, 15 per cent men; and saving for a large down payment, 22 per cent women, 14 per cent men.

The survey also showed Canadian women (16 per cent), regardless of whether it was their first home or not, were less likely to take on a variable mortgage compared with men (25 per cent). Both sexes were similarly comfortable with the prospect of taking on a fixed-rate mortgage (women, 40 per cent; men, 44 per cent), which largely reflects the current trend where Canadians are now looking to lock in at historically low interest rates, said RBC.

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