Canada and Canadians have always welcomed newcomers to the country.
Immigrants come here from all over the world, bringing with them a variety of beliefs, customs and dreams, adding to the richness of the country.
And, they share at least one dream with native-born Canadians — that of owning their own homes.
A recently released Decima Research spring home and mortgage poll, sponsored by CIBC, has revealed that immigrants who have made Canada their new home since 1980 are getting into their own new homes faster than new Canadians who moved here prior to that year.
The poll also revealed that newcomers to Canada are more likely to be planning a move or a new home purchase.
Over the last 24 years, immigrants who are current homeowners took, on average, approximately six years to fulfil their dreams of owning their own home.
Prior to 1980, the average time frame for new Canadians to purchase their first home was 15 years.
“The dream of home ownership has become a reality sooner for new Canadians who currently own a home,” said Paul Mims, vice-president, CIBC Mortgages and Lending. “We also found that the older immigrants are when they arrive, the sooner they are able to purchase their first home.”
When broken down by demographics, the poll discovered immigrants, who arrive in Canada between the ages of 18 and 34 years, take an average of 8.9 years to move into an ownership position, while those who arrive between the ages of 35 and 49 years take just over four years to purchase a home.
Conducted in late January/early February of this year, the poll surveyed 1,267 Canadian homeowners, prospective homeowners, as well as status-quo renters, comparing homeownership views of immigrants with native-born Canadians and finding a number of similarities and differences of opinion.
When asked if they believed that one day they would own their dream home, 67% of both groups agreed that they eventually would.
Another similarity is the belief they would one day be able to live mortgage free, with 42% of new Canadians saying yes, compared with 46% of Canadians born in the country.
Notable differences arose when questions pertaining to intentions of purchasing a home and financing options were asked.
According to the poll, immigrants are more likely to be planning a move or new home purchase in the next year than their Canadian-born counterparts — 22% to 14%.
A significant difference exists in choosing a mortgage strategy.
Forty percent of new Canadians, who are homeowners or prospective homeowners, are more likely to prefer a low-rate, short-term variable-rate mortgage, as compared to 27% of Canadian-born homeowners and prospective homeowners who indicated they would choose this option.
Views on investment also differ.
Of immigrants, 62% strongly agree they would rather put money into their homes than in the stock market, while 53% of Canadian-born respondents see their homes as a better investment.