Survey on Québec's real estate industry - Young Households Still Aspire to Ownership Despite Obstacles

MONTRÉAL, May 5, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB), and the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l'habitation du Québec (APCHQ) today unveiled the results of a Leger survey conducted in February and March on choices and buying and selling intentions in Québec's real estate market. A key finding of the survey reveals that young households still aspire to ownership despite some major obstacles.

Home ownership is a priority for Gen Y
Gen Yers between the ages of 18 and 34 believe in and aspire to home ownership because owning a home is equated with a better quality of life (60%), freedom from being a tenant (58%), and a good long-term investment (59%). Of this group, 46% plan to buy a principal place of residence within the next five years.

The survey found that a large proportion of young households already have a clear idea of what they're looking for, an encouraging sign. Among those aged 18 to 34 who envision buying a home in the next five years, 83% know what type of property they want: 59% are interested in an existing home, 24% would look for new construction, and 17% were undecided.

"The main reason young households would buy an existing property is that it costs less than a new construction. However, they plan to make renovations in the near term. As for those who prefer a newly built property, the main reasons are a desire to be the first ones to live in the home, and a preference for a turn-key property," said Paul Cardinal, QFREB director of market analysis. 

Down payment is an issue
Although their intentions are clear, the financial, personal or professional situation of young households, combined with insufficient savings, prevent them from moving ahead with their plans. For 24% of respondents aged 18 to 34, coming up with the down payment is an obstacle to acquiring a property in the next five years. Also, 39% of this group only began saving for a house a year ago or less. The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) remains an essential source of funds for a down payment. In fact, 27% of all buyers said they used the HBP for their purchase, as did 47% of first-time buyers.

"Young households have very little leeway, and a sharp increase in prices could prevent them from reaching their goals. The industry, cities and both levels of government should bear this reality in mind and ensure that housing prices remain affordable for these young families that dream of owning a home," said François-William Simard, Vice-President, Communication and Marketing, at the APCHQ.

First-time buyers are cautious
Part of the survey was intended to create a profile of first-time buyers. The survey findings indicate that this group is cautious, with 67% choosing a 5-year mortgage term and 69% opting for a fixed rate. Also, 60% of first-time buyers reported making more than one mortgage payment per month in order to pay less interest.

"The study shows that buyers are looking for stability and take their obligations very seriously. This bodes well for the future of the real estate market in the short and medium terms," concluded Normand Bélanger, President and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ.

A good outlook for the condo market
According to the survey, 11% of owner households live in condos. However, among the households that intend to purchase a property in the next 5 years, 20% would opt for this type of housing. The percentage increases with home owner age. For example, condos are the property of choice among 13% of 18-34-year-olds, 20% of 35-49-year-olds and 34% of the 50 and over group.

Other findings

  • The survey broke down future buyers into three age groups: 18-34-year-olds account for 43% of potential buyers in the next five years, compared to 30% for the 35-49-year-old group and 27% for the 50 and over group.
  • Future buyers aged 35 to 49 typically want to increase their living space and enhance their quality of life or comfort. To do so, many are prepared to invest in a more expensive property.
  • A third of future buyers in the 50 and over age group want to downsize and spend less on the upkeep of their next property. Their main criteria are easy access to services, safe neighbourhood, and parks or green space.
  • Sixty-four percent of buyers of existing homes plan to spend at least $1,000 on renovation in the near future. Eighteen percent plan to invest more than $20,000 in the next five years.

About the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ
Created in 1991, the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ promotes economic growth and employment in Québec by strategically investing in profitable and socially responsible real estate projects in partnership with other industry leaders. The Fonds immobilier backs residential, office, commercial, institutional and industrial projects of all sizes across Québec. At December 31, 2015, the Fonds immobilier had 37 projects in progress, valued at $1.9 billion, along with 41 properties under management, 18 million square feet of land and $59 million invested in affordable, social and community housing. The Fonds immobilier is a member of the Canada Green Building Council. Visit  

About the Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards
The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards is a non-profit organization composed of Québec's 12 real estate boards and more than 13,000 real estate brokers who are their members. Its mission is to promote and protect the interests of Québec's real estate industry so that the boards and their members can successfully meet their business objectives.

About the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l'habitation du Québec
Founded in 1961, the Association des professionnels de la construction et de l'habitation du Québec (APCHQ) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to develop and enhance the professionalism of its 17,000 corporate members, which belong to 14 regional associations. Through its technical, legal, administrative and training services, and its government and public interventions, the APCHQ helps its members hone their skills and succeed in a highly competitive environment. As well, when the time comes to renew the construction industry's collective agreements, the ACPHQ negotiates on behalf of 14,500 employers in the residential sector.  

The Web survey was conducted from February 24 to March 9, 2016, on a representative sample of 5,660 English- and French-speaking Quebecers aged 18 and over. To be eligible, respondents had to be responsible for or share responsibility for paying their mortgage or rent. Quotas were established based on the regions, such that 3,258 were from Greater Montréal, 1,201 from the Québec City area and 1,201 from elsewhere in the province.  With the help of data from Statistics Canada, the results were weighted by age, region, sex, language spoken at home, level of education and the presence of children in the household in order to make the sample representative of the population under study.


SOURCE Association des professionnels de la construction et de l'habitation du Québec (APCHQ)

For further information: Jean-Sébastien Lapointe, Advisor, Communications and Public Relations, APCHQ, Mobile: 514 771-5038,; Josée Lagacé, Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, Tel.: 514 847-5710,; Manon Stébenne, Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards, Tel.: 514 762-2440, extension 157,


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