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CMHC report includes interesting findings on prospective homebuyers

Many companies and organizations release survey results to the public regularly. Because there are so many reports to sort through and they are often self-serving, they often get ignored by the media.

However, every so often, interesting or significant findings fly under the radar, especially in the real estate industry.
A notable example of this was the recent 2018 Prospective Home Buyers Survey by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC).

One interesting result from that survey was pointed out during a phone call with Pichu Kalyniuk, an account manager with CMHC in Calgary.

“When we asked potential buyers whether they wanted to move into a condo or apartment, Calgary actually had the smallest percentage out of all of the major centres that were preferring to move into a condo apartment, with the majority of people from Calgary saying that they wanted to buy a house,” she said.

“I think that might just be a lifestyle thing. In Calgary, we also have a lot more space. We do have more room. It’s not as condensed as some of our larger centres like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver.”

“The survey did really give us some interesting findings on some of the different thoughts and behaviours of these groups for when they are about to buy a home.” – Pichu Kalyniuk, CMHC account manager in Calgary

The survey was the first of its kind for CMHC and the results are useful information for all those involved in the real estate industry. It explored the dynamics of homebuying intentions for three groups of future homebuyers – first-timers, previous owners and current owners.

The survey report is jam-packed with information, but here are a few highlights that caught my attention:

  • Improved accessibility (less physical obstacles and barriers) and investment opportunity were noted as top motivators across all groups;
  • Changes to mortgage regulations and concerns about potential future interest rate increases were not among the top motivators for prospective homebuyers in 2017;
  • Over four-in-10 first-time buyers and previous owners say they would delay their home purchase if they were not able to find their ideal home, with a similar proportion saying they would be willing to compromise on the size of the home and location;
  • An existing, move-in-ready home is the top choice for all groups of prospective homebuyers, followed by a newly constructed home, noted by approximately one-fifth of first-time buyers and previous owners;
  • About one-in-four prospective homebuyers stated that they would be very likely to consider delaying their purchase in the event of an increase in interest rates;
  • Across all groups of future homebuyers, more than six-in-10 say they are likely to have a financial buffer in case their expenses change in the future.

Kalyniuk says CMHC surveyed people who were going to buy a home in the next two years.

“The survey did really give us some interesting findings on some of the different thoughts and behaviours of these groups for when they are about to buy a home,” she said.

“The biggest one was this desire to stop renting … This was very predominant, as well as, interestingly, improved accessibility. All three segments wanted a place that was easier physically to move around in and to get to … The last big motivator was that this was an investment opportunity. It was still seen as this potential for value appreciation.”

To read the full report, visit

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