A new survey suggests first-time homebuyers on Vancouver Island require more financial help from parents than their counterparts elsewhere in the province. (Black Press Media File)

New report suggests first-time homebuyers on Vancouver Island need help from parents

All responding notaries on Vancouver Island say first-time homebuyers needed help for down payment

A new survey suggests first-time homebuyers on Vancouver Island require more financial help from parents than their counterparts elsewhere in the province.

According to the BC Notaries Association 2019 Year-End Real Estate Report, Vancouver Island is the only region where all notaries working with first-time homebuyers reported that their clients needed financial help from parents to make a down payment. This figure itself emerged from a survey of 26 notaries based on Vancouver Island.

It is important to point out what that figure says and what it does not. It does not say that all first-time homebuyers on Vancouver Island required financial help in 2019. It only says that notaries working with first-time homebuyers reported that their clients needed help. The survey does not say how many of the 26 notaries worked with first-time homebuyers.

But the survey does align with other pieces of evidence (including from the BC Notaries Association itself) showing that the Vancouver Island market might be a tougher nut to crack than others by virtue of requiring more help. In 2015, ‘only’ 70 per cent of notaries on Vancouver Island reported that first-time buyers needed help.

RELATED: 90 per cent of first-time homebuyers in B.C. need financial help to buy home: Report

Vancouver Island’s rate of 100 is higher than the provincial rate of 90 per cent (up from 70 per cent in 2015) and obviously higher than all other reporting regions, with the proviso that the actual rate depends on the number of notaries who chose to respond. By way of comparison, the rate for Greater Vancouver is 89 per cent (up from 66 per cent in 2015), 90 per cent for the Fraser Valley (up from 75 per cent in 2015), and 86 per cent for the Okanagan/Kamloops region (up from 83 per cent in 2015). For Northern B.C., 6 out of 9 Notaries (67 per cent) responded most first-time buyers are getting help with their down payment with no comparative data available for 2015.

Overall, the reports finds that notaries across B.C. found that first-time homebuyers were much more likely to lean on parents for financial support to meet down payment requirements than in previous years.

When asked how much of the down payment is coming from parents in 2019, 59 per cent of notaries said their clients typically get less than 25 per cent of the down payment; a third said their clients typically get 25 cent to 50 per cent of their down payment, while eight per cent received more than half from their parents in 2019.

According to the report, 193 notaries (just under half of the 400 notaries in British Columbia) participated in the December survey. According to the report, notaries also found mortgage restrictions and an overall lack of housing supply as the biggest factors impacting affordability.

According to the report, notaries are responsible for the “conveyancing or other legal services in more than half of all residential real estate transactions in the province,” often finding themselves helping first-time homebuyers understand the process.


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