Vancouver NOT Most Expensive Canadian City for First-Time Home Buyers: Study

Joannah Connolly
April 14, 2015

Despite being Canada’s most expensive real estate market in general, Vancouver was second to another major city in terms of how much first-time home buyers spend on a property, according to a recent survey by Genworth Canada.

First-time buyers in the city spent a median of $420,000 on their first home – sneaking in at $5,000 less than the $425,000 median price spent in Toronto.

However, the price difference may be offset by the fact that more first-timers in Vancouver were buying condos as their entry point into the market – 47 per cent, compared with 39 per cent in Toronto.

Across Canada as a whole, buyers paid a median of $293,000 on their first properties – the highest it has ever been. Here are the prices paid and down payments broken out across the country.

The Genworth survey of 1,800 first time homebuyers also polled on a series of other questions, including motivation for buying a home:

The survey also found that, across Canada:

  • more than 80 per cent of respondents chose fixed-rate mortgages
  • 73 per cent of respondents said mortgage brokers were important sources for mortgage information
  • 80 per cent of respondents bought a resale home
  • 20 per cent bought newly built or presale homes
  • 55 per cent bought a single-family detached home – the largest proportion of all property types
  • 17 per cent bought a condo – rising to 47 per cent in Vancouver, 40 per cent in Montreal and 39 per cent in Toronto.
Joannah Connolly
Joannah Connolly is editorial director of Glacier Real Estate, Glacier Media's real estate division. Joannah writes and curates real estate news for Glacier Media's local newspaper websites, including the Vancouver Courier, North Shore News, Burnaby Now, Tri-City News and others. She also oversees editorial content in Real Estate Weekly Homes, West Coast Condo, Western Investor and Glacier's special real estate publications. A dual Canadian-British citizen, Joannah has 22 years of journalism and editing experience in Vancouver and London, with a background in construction, architecture, healthcare and business media. Joannah has appeared on major local TV outlets as a real estate commentator, has moderated and spoken on various industry panels, and spent two years hosting the Real Estate Therapist radio show on Roundhouse Radio.