Canadians get serious about home ownership

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Buyers are working harder for longer when saving for a down payment and home ownership is still considered financially beneficial, according to a Canada-wide survey commissioned by Genworth Canada.

"Despite tighter mortgage qualification criteria over recent years, survey results point towards positive trends in homebuyer behaviour," Stuart Levings, chief operating officer of Genworth Canada said in an official release. "With a stable economy and real estate market, Canadians appear to have more confidence in the value of homeownership and see their goals of homeownership and financial well-being as more achievable."

When it comes to the ever-important down payment, 50 per cent plan to save for 12-24 months and 29 per cent believe it will take three to four years to save up enough.

And it seems that home ownership is still favourable to renting among a large majority of Canadians.

“Nine out of ten people agreed that owning their own home gave them a greater sense of emotional well-being,” the official release states. “Nine out of ten people thought homeownership may mean more work and effort, but would rather own their home than rent.”

However, only 17 per cent believe now is a good time to buy a home despite 64 per cent believing housing prices will increase in the next 12 months.

This, despite the fact that 48 per cent of those surveyed believe they are in good or great financial shape -- a four per cent increase over 2013’s results.

Overall, the study also found that Canadians are becoming more fiscally responsible, with 38 per cent saying they were able to save money last year and 51 per cent paying their credit cards off in full each month.

"It is encouraging to see Canadians taking a more proactive stance on managing debt and savings," said Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS. "Credit counseling is a great way to ensure that your goals are viable and that all potential risks have been taken into consideration, and being aware of your financial fitness score is an important first step in that process."
 

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