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First-Time Homebuyers In B.C. Needed Help With Down Payment 83% Of The Time In 2018

A majority of notaries say they are seeing a decline in the number of first-time buyers.
A for sale sign in front of a home in Vancouver, B.C., Sept. 22, 2016.
Ben Nelms / Reuters
A for sale sign in front of a home in Vancouver, B.C., Sept. 22, 2016.

Without some help from their parents, those looking to buy a home in B.C. in 2018 weren't having much luck, a new report suggests.

According to the B.C. Notaries Association, 83 per cent of first-time buyers in the province received assistance with their down payment in 2018, up from the 57 per cent who got a helping hand in 2015.

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"While it's great to see that many first-time buyers are finding ways to get their first home, increased restrictions and the potential for higher interest rates is making some cautious or decide to wait on the sidelines to mass more of a down payment," said Daniel Boisvert, president of the B.C. Notaries Association, in the 2019 Real Estate Report.

The percentage of first-time buyers in B.C. who needed help with the down payment has risen steeply since 2015.
B.C. Notaries Association
The percentage of first-time buyers in B.C. who needed help with the down payment has risen steeply since 2015.

Meantime, 59 per cent of notaries surveyed for the report say they saw the number of first-time buyers decrease, with only 13 per cent reporting an increase and 28 per cent noting no change.

So what are the major challenges for first-time homebuyers who appear to be getting pushed out of the B.C. market?

Well, unsurprisingly, 76 per cent of notaries surveyed agree that home prices are an issue in their local market, with 20 per cent saying prices aren't an issue and 4 per cent claiming no opinion.

Increased mortgage restrictions and rising interest rates are cited by B.C. notaries as the biggest pressures on the province's housing market today.
B.C. Notaries Association
Increased mortgage restrictions and rising interest rates are cited by B.C. notaries as the biggest pressures on the province's housing market today.

Respondents who say home prices are an issue were asked to list the three factors having the biggest impact on their local market, with the three most popular answers being increased mortgage restrictions, rising interest rates and lack of supply.

Survey findings are based on the responses of about 170 notaries across the province.

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