Being a newcomer is always tough, especially given the anti-immigrant racism that still exists in Canada today. However, Canada has come to rely on immigrants’ cash injection into its urban economies, including the housing markets. Now, a new survey from Royal LePage reveals that 75 per cent of newcomers arrive with savings which go towards purchasing a home and that newcomers represent 21 per cent of the purchasing market.
Since Canada is so often touted as a nation of immigrants, it’s prescient to ask – who exactly counts as a newcomer? For this study, Royal LePage defined a newcomer as someone who has moved to Canada within the last ten years. Survey respondents included immigrants, students, refugees and those who are in Canada to work.
Nationally, the average duration of time respondents spent in Canada is four years and the trend is that usually newcomers tend to settle in the city that has welcomed them. The survey actually reported that over 82 per cent of newcomers stay in their first place of residence.
In addition, newcomers are likely to be a family with children (31 percent), a student (25 per cent) or a sole applicant (20 per cent). Eighty-six per cent see real estate as a good investment, but that the average duration of time before newcomers purchase a home is three years after arriving in Canada.
“In addition to supporting Canada’s economic growth, newcomers to Canada are vital to the health of our national real estate market,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “The combined demand for affordable housing among younger Canadians and new Canadians can be met through housing policies that encourage smart and sustainable development, with a focus on protecting and developing green spaces in our urban centres. Canada’s economy and labour markets are expanding and it is crucial that housing supply keeps pace.”
Despite the housing crisis , Royal LePage projects that Canadian newcomers will purchase 680,000 homes over the next five years and that once in Canada, very few families want to venture a move further south to the United States. In fact, 75 per cent of newcomers ruled out the U.S. entirely prior to arriving in Canada because they feel more welcomed as immigrants here. With Donald Trump as President, that’s a fairly logical conclusion.
“It is not surprising that newcomers see a home in Canada as a good investment. Having lived abroad myself, I have seen first-hand the challenges of relocating a family to a new world. It takes courage and commitment. Newcomers are doing more than investing in Canadian real estate, they are investing in their family’s future,” said Soper.
Yet the homeownership rate of newcomers (32 per cent) sits at about half that of all Canadians (68 per cent). And of those who purchase a home, 51 per cent of newcomers buy a detached house, 18 per cent buy a condominium, 15 per cent buy a townhouse and 13 per cent buy a semi-detached house.
So welcome people to the neighbourhood. It wouldn’t hurt to push this sign down into your lawn. Some might construe it as “limousine liberalism,” but it’s also pretty nice to see.