Toronto’s hot housing market hasn’t torched the home ownership dreams of first-time buyers.
About two-thirds of millennials in the Toronto area expect to own their own home, according to a survey by Pollara for Bank of Montreal being released Wednesday. That’s despite a higher average purchase price of $465,000 in Toronto, compared to the $350,000 national average.
But about 32 per cent say that home ownership will probably be unaffordable for them.
Those expecting to buy are relying on family to realize their dream.
Nearly half of Toronto first-timers anticipate making a withdrawal of about 12 per cent of the total price for a down payment, from the bank of mom and dad. That means their own contribution would be about 4 per cent or about $18,000.
Oakville’s Michelle Smiciklas, 27, and her partner had saved about $96,000 toward a down payment when they fell in love with a $634,000, new construction town house near Dundas St. West and Neyagawa Blvd.
Her parents more than doubled that so the monthly mortgage payments for the couple, who both work in the financial sector, will be a manageable $1,716.
But the healthy start took discipline said Smiciklas, who managed to squirrel $5,000 a year away even during university.
“I’m getting to the age where I don’t feel like renting any more. I just wanted to invest my money,” said Smiciklas, who takes possession of her new home in September.
Half of the survey respondents fear they won’t be able to afford their monthly mortgage payments and almost two-thirds worry they won’t be pre-approved for a mortgage.
Part of that might be a pervasive resistance to talking about money or they may not have a good budget or financial plan in place, said Toni Tintinalli, BMO’s regional vice-president of personal banking in the GTA.
“There is a fear if you want something, ‘What happens if I don’t get it?’ For the most part, if you’re a good saver, and you have a good job and you have good credit you will get pre-approved. You may not get approved for the amount you want but you will most likely get approved if you have those things in place,” he said.
Banks still advise sticking with the one-third rule where debts don’t exceed a third of a buyer’s gross income.
That can creep up to 40 per cent, particularly for first-time buyers, said Tintinalli. At the point it’s a matter of lifestyle choices.
“Some people may not travel as much any more, some people may reduce to one car, if it’s a couple and some people may choose to move to the suburbs because they want a greater space versus staying in the city,” he said.
Half of Canadian millennials already own a home and 76 per cent of those who rent, expect to buy within five years.
Seventy-three per cent of Toronto area respondents said they would delay buying to get the home they want and only 14 per cent would move outside their preferred area to own a home.
Pollara surveyed 2,079 Canadians aged 19 to 35 between March 14 and 17. The results are considered accurate within 2.2 per cent 19 times out of 20.
Forty three per cent of those surveyed were aged 30 to 35; 35 per cent were 25 to 29 and 22 per cent were aged 19 to 24.