Okanagan Notaries see decrease in first-time home buyers

Decrease blamed on stricter mortgage qualifications; rising interest rates

The B.C. Notaries Association reports a decrease in first-time buyers for 2018 and an increased reliance on financial support from parents to meet down payment requirements.

The 174 Notaries across B.C., including 13 across the Okanagan region, who responded to the December survey cited the impact of increased mortgage qualification restrictions and rising interest rates as the most significant hurdles for first-time buyers, followed by other issues such as lack of supply and the proposed speculation tax.

“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 amass more of a down payment,” said Daniel Boisvert, a Notary in Delta and president of B.C. Notaries Association.

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Among the highlights of the Okanagan sector survey results:

• Half of participating Notaries reported a decrease in first-time buyer activity

• 77 per cent of Notaries report first-time home buyers are receiving help from family; 70 per cent say buyers are receiving less than 25 per cent of the down payment cost

• Increased mortgage restrictions, followed by rising interest rates and lack of supply are the top three factors impacting real estate

• Many Notaries reported more multi-family (condo and townhouse) development in their communities and ongoing interest from potential buyers from other regions

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When compared to the same question at the end of 2015, 57 per cent said first-time buyer clients were typically getting help and most (52 per cent) said that parents typically provide less than a quarter of the down payment amount.

“Our annual B.C. Notaries Association Real Estate Report offers important insights into our members’ knowledge and experience with real estate in communities all across B.C.,” added Jacqui Mendes, CEO of the B.C. Notaries Association.

“B.C. Notaries are highly-trained in both simple and complex real-estate transactions and provide conveyancing or other legal services on over 70 per cent of all residential real estate transactions province-wide.”

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