Potential first-time buyers in Canada may be shying away from making the leap into home ownership, a new survey has revealed.

The latest Altus Group Housing report, released Monday, found overall purchasing intentions for potential first-time buyers who currently rent decreased slightly from a year ago.

Twelve per cent of renters surveyed said they plan to buy a home in the next year compared with 14 per cent last spring.  

But home-buying intentions varied depending on age.

The 35-plus age group had less of an intention to buy within the year, with 14 per cent of those between 35 and 49 years old saying they plan to buy in the next 12 months, compared with 17 per cent last year.

And even fewer renters aged 50 or older plan to buy this year (five per cent compared to seven per cent last spring).

Those with the highest intention of buying within the year were those under 35 (22 per cent compared with 20 per cent last year). The report found many renters in that demographic are planning to buy a home eventually or are already looking for one.

First-time homebuyers accounted for under half of overall purchasers in recent years, the report found, with many admitting to getting at least some help from their parents to make their down payments.