Homebuyer adaptability rains on landlord dreams

The Genworth poll, completed in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), asked 1,514 Canadians questions about their financial well-being and preparedness. The results have surprised some analysts, with the 2013 survey revealing 56 per cent of recent first-time buyers put down more than 20 per cent on their homes versus 36 per cent in a 2012 survey.

"Canadians entering the real estate market are making financially astute choices by saving longer and putting down larger deposits on their homes," said Brian Hurley, CEO of Genworth Canada, the second largest default insurer and biggest competitor to CMHC. "They continue to value homeownership and are being responsible about the way they enter into mortgage debt.  This trend bodes well for a soft-landing of the housing market."

In fact, the number of people that said it is getting harder to save for that down payment is on the decline, some 50 per cent vs. 55 per cent in 2012.

More first-time buyers found it easier to save money – 9 per cent, up from 5 per cent in 2012.

Those results, on the whole, suggest any bump-up in occupancy rates landlords have enjoyed as a result of tighter mortgage rules may be short-lived, said one analyst, or, at the very least, any further rise could be curtailed.

Essentially, that challenges the growing perception amongst property investors that the sky’s the limit in terms of rental increases in markets that for now are relatively tight.

Still, in the short-term landlords may have free rein to raise rates, knowing the market will bear that extra burden.

According to the survey, only 17 per cent of respondents thought it was a good time to buy, suggesting that low interest rates alone are not enough to entice Canadians to purchase a home and that they’re likely to stay renters for the next several months.

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