First-time homebuyers in the Prairies think now is a good time to buy, according to the latest BMO Housing Survey.
The survey found 70% of Albertans and 55% of respondents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba were optimistic about their housing markets.
That contrasted with widespread pessimism in Ontario, where only 20% of respondents thought now was the time to buy. In B.C. and Quebec, only 22% of respondents were optimistic about their housing markets.
Overall sentiment around affordability has cooled as the housing market has heated up. Across the country, only 32% of respondents said now was the time to buy.
Almost 40% of respondents said they planned to wait for prices to come down before getting into the market.
The pandemic has seen household savings skyrocket, and 80% of first-time buyers said they plan to use at least some of their excess savings for a down payment. But the amount they’re planning to put down on a house varies.
Just over a third (36%) of respondents said they planned to put 5–10% down on a house. Almost 20% said they wanted to make a down payment of 16–20%, and nearly 15% said they wanted to put down 21–50%.
Twenty per cent of first-time buyers said they were already pre-approved for a mortgage, and 48% said they planned to obtain pre-approval.
BMO commissioned Pollara Strategic Insights to conduct an online poll of 1,000 adults from March 1–9. Online polls cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.