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What newcomers think about home ownership in Canada

For newcomers, the Canadian banking system can sometimes be unclear – and nowhere is this more true than when purchasing a home. While many newcomers believe they understand the process for securing a mortgage and closing a deal on a new home, many are dismayed to find how complicated the process can be.

RBC surveyed Chinese and South Asian newcomers who have been in Canada for less than a year, and compared their findings to those who have been here for between two and five years. 

The poll unveiled some rather interesting results – including a number of myths and realities about homeownership and what it means to newcomers.

#1: The Buying Process

What they thought: Buying a house in Canada will be similar to buying a house in my home country.  

 Reality: As they become more tenured, newcomers are more inclined to agree that it is more complicated to buy a home in Canada than in their home country (57 per cent of 2-5 year tenure group vs.44 per cent among less than one-year tenure).

 #2: Buying in the Suburbs

What they thought: Despite high gas and transportation costs, buying a house in the suburbs will save you money.

 Reality: 52 per cent of newcomers who have been in Canada for 2 to 5 years believe that gas and transportation costs can cost more than the savings of buying a home in the suburbs.

 #3: Investment Opportunity

What they thought: Buying a home in Canada is a good investment.

 Reality: This statement held true for newcomers of all tenures. While the majority of newcomers believe this statement to be true, the longer they’ve been here, the more they believe it. 73 per cent of 2-5 year tenure group vs. 58 per cent of less than one-year tenure).

 #4: Interest rates

What they thought: Getting the best interest rate is important, but not the most important thing to consider when buying a house.

Reality: In reality, 77 per cent newcomers who have been in Canada between 2 and 5 years believe that getting the best interest rate is the most important consideration when buying a home vs. 52 per cent of those who have been here less than 1 year.

“It was great to understand what the perception is of home ownership in Canada by newcomers,” said Christine Shisler, Director, Cultural Markets, RBC. 

“The more that we know about the needs of newcomers, the better able we are to provide guidance and advice as they start to settle themselves in Canada.  The best advice is to come into a branch and speak to someone for tailor-made advice, get in touch with a mobile mortgage specialist, or to visit our online Advice Centre.” 

Posted: Sep 1, 2014

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