A new survey finds that younger first-time homebuyers are making trade-offs and purchasing earlier to navigate Canada’s housing market. 

Houseful, an RBC company, released the results of its First-Time Homebuyer Trade-Off Survey on Thursday, highlighting that first-time buyers under the age of 30 are purchasing sooner than expected. Those younger buyers can enter the market sooner by making larger compromises that they might have otherwise seen as deal-breakers.

"Home ownership is the beginning of generational wealth creation," Karen Starns, the CEO of Houseful, said in a press release.  

"Many younger first-time homebuyers recognize that home ownership is a life-long pursuit, and an early start to the journey can deliver exponential long-term value to support future goals."

The survey found that 38 per cent of first-time buyers under the age of 30 in the market to acquire a home are moving to purchase earlier than expected, compared to only 18.4 per cent of first-time buyers over the age of 30.

Some of the trade-offs being made by younger buyers include looking for smaller and smaller homes, purchasing homes they may not stay in over the longer term and expanding their location preferences. 

The survey found that 65.2 per cent of first-time buyers under 30 would embrace a smaller living space, with 47.2 per cent of buyers over 30 indicating they would be willing to embrace those conditions.

Fewer younger buyers, 53.3 per cent, indicated they purchased their dream home compared to 72.6 per cent of older buyers saying they did, the survey said. 

Younger buyers were also found to value location less than their older counterparts, with 28.3 per cent of younger buyers saying they prioritize location compared to 34.9 per cent of older buyers. Additionally, 56.2 per cent of younger buyers said they were open to living over 25 kilometres from a large city. 

The survey results came ahead of the federal government’s upcoming budget on April 16, with experts telling Bloomberg News that the budget will focus on housing. 

Specifically, the budget is reportedly emphasizing measures to speed up the pace of construction and increase the supply of affordable homes, potentially using government land to do so. 


The survey was conducted by RBCx and distributed by Clint from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22. Survey results were taken from responses of 238 participants in Canada, all of whom were first-time homebuyers over the age of 18. 

With files from Bloomberg News.