Newcomers represent one in every five homebuyers in Canada and are projected to purchase 680,000 homes over the next five years if immigration levels to the country are maintained, a new survey commissioned by Royal Lepage shows.
The online survey queried 1,500 newcomers who arrived in Canada within the last 10 years. Respondents included immigrants, students, refugees and those temporarily in Canada to work.
While only 32 per cent of all survey participants reported owning a home, 86 per cent said they see real estate as a good investment and 75 per cent arrived in Canada with savings to help purchase a home.
Of those who owned their home, the average amount of time that passed between their arrival and purchasing property was three years.
The survey also found that 82 per cent of all respondents were still living in their first city of residence.
Of the newcomers interviewed, those in Alberta and the Atlantic Provinces had the highest rate of homeownership, at 45 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively. Newcomers in the Prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba had the third-highest rate of homeownership, at 41 per cent.
These three regions also posted the highest percentage of newcomers who purchased a home upon arrival in Canada (20 per cent in the Prairies and Atlantic Canada and 19 per cent in Alberta).
The percentage of newcomers who rented their first home in Canada was highest in British Columbia, at 72 per cent, followed by Quebec at 71 per cent.
Newcomers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba represented 41 per cent of all homebuyers in those provinces, the highest share in Canada, with newcomers in the Atlantic Provinces second at 31 per cent of all homebuyers in that region.
Newcomers to Atlantic Canada who bought a home waited an average of two years after their arrival to purchase their property, while the average across the six regions studied was three years.
At 86 per cent, newcomers to British Columbia were the most likely to still be living in their first city or region of residence, followed by newcomers to Ontario (84 per cent), Quebec (83 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (81 per cent).
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