More than half of B.C.’s first-time homebuyers plan on making that first purchase out in the suburbs, according to a study released this week by the Bank of Montreal (BMO).
BMO found that 53 per cent planned on making their first buy in the suburbs in B.C., while nationwide 47 per cent planned to do the same . Of those, 44 per cent said the main reason was affordability, while 41 per cent believed they could get a larger home than what they could purchase in a major city.
Just over one-third of first-time homebuyers planned to make their first purchase in a smaller community, while just under one-third planned to buy in a major city centre. Of first-time buyers, 27 per cent were looking at Toronto, 15 per cent at Vancouver and 11 per cent at Montreal and Calgary. For those buyers, staying close to work and not wanting to leave their current area were the main drivers behind staying in those cities.
First-time buyers largely wanted a detached home, with 61 per cent eyeing that option while 32 per cent eyed townhomes, 28 per cent were looking at semi-detached option and 27 per cent at condos.
Hassan Pirnia, head of personal lending and home financing products at BMO, said that remote work was allowing more people to look at homes in locations that may have not made sense prior to the pandemic.
“Between this added work flexibility and price appreciation in some major cities, the expectation is that we will continue to see a push into the suburbs,” Pirnia said.