« Real estate market to set record | Main | The home buyers' wish list »

Homeownership immigrant priority

A new study shows immigrants are providing fuel for Canada’s residential real estate boom.

Just over one half (52%) of new immigrants to Canada have already purchased a home and did so, on average, within three years of arriving in the country, according to a new study released today by Genworth Financial. Genworth's First-Time Homebuyer Monitor documents a strong desire by recent immigrants to own a home of their own, with 91% saying that purchasing a home is either very or somewhat important to them. Reasons included a "good investment," "having children", "needing more space" and "owning gives you a feeling of pride."

The report is based on the experiences of Canadian immigrants polled in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa-Gatineau who have come to Canada within the last 10 years.

"This study illustrates how critically important the dream of homeownership is to recent immigrants to Canada," said Peter Vukanovich, president of Genworth Financial Canada. "Lenders, builders and realtors have done a good job serving this market, but we need to provide even more information about the home buying process so those new to Canada understand the options available to them before making this major decision."

Genworth has added a new Guide specifically designed for immigrant buyers to the homebuyer tools already available at www.genworth.ca. This Guide is available in Farsi, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Punjabi. It builds on Genworth's existing New To Canada Mortgage Insurance Program, which allows those who've immigrated to Canada within the last 36 months to purchase a home with as little as three per cent down payment.

The new online Guide was specially designed in consultation with University of Alberta Professor Michael Haan, a leading expert on the immigrant homeownership experience in Canada.

"The information Genworth is releasing today marks an important step in our understanding of how immigrants experience the housing market in Canada," Professor Haan said. "Some international academic studies have strongly suggested that immigrants place a higher importance (than native-born residents) on homeownership, and that they have additional incentives for ownership, such as demonstrating success and permanency to themselves and others. This new data illustrates that desire among Canadian immigrants."

The survey highlighted some unique challenges facing immigrants who want to buy a home, including:

Respondents also shared some concerns common among all homebuyers, including high housing costs (90 per cent), and saving for a downpayment (83 per cent).

"This new study highlights some of the challenges that remain in the homebuying process for new immigrants. But make no mistake, as this study shows, buying a home is a very important goal for most new immigrants. I see that on a daily basis," said Toronto real estate agent Bill Thom, who specializes in serving clients in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, & Toisan.

The Genworth First-Time Homebuyer's Monitor is based on a telephone survey conducted between September 17 and October 3, 2007 among 418 new immigrants living in the five census metropolitan areas (CMAs) identified by Statistics Canada as having the largest proportion of new immigrants: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa-Gatineau. Results of this survey are accurate to within +/- 4.8%, 19 times out of 20.

The full First-Time Homebuyer's Monitor is available here »

December 8, 2007 in Canadian Real Estate Market | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Homeownership immigrant priority :


The comments to this entry are closed.


Thank you for visiting!