Women lead first-time homebuyers

Thursday, May 28th, 2009


Women led the charge of first-time buyers jumping back into British Columbia‘s real estate markets, according to a recent report from real-estate firm Royal LePage.

Royal Lepage said new buyers, spurred on by rock-bottom mortgage rates and declining prices that put home prices back in reach, have started coming back into the market, and in B.C., some 60 per cent of them are women.

“When first-time buyers stepped out of the market in the fourth quarter of 2008, at the height of the global recession, their absence was profoundly felt,” Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper said in a news release.

They are, however, “back in force,” he added, “and with them, the beginnings of a market recovery.”

Sales remain substantially below the levels markets experienced in 2008, but they have come up from extremely low levels of last fall.

Royal LePage commissioned polling firm Pollara to survey 474 adult Canadians who are contemplating a first-home purchase in the next three years.

In the survey, pollsters found affordability was the top consideration in decisions to buy.

In B.C., the survey found prospective buyers were attracted the most by falling prices, with 96 per cent of respondents reporting that as their prime motivating factor. Ninety-two per cent said low interest rates were another key motivating factor.

The survey found that most first-time buyers in Vancouver favoured condominiums as their first purchase, though an increasing number were finding suitable detached homes in the Fraser Valley.

Further, the survey found that 40 per cent of buyers were looking to purchase a “fixer-upper,” with 80 per cent of respondents saying they would take advantage of the federal government’s renovation tax credit.

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