Report shows majority of first time home buyers on Vancouver Island getting help from parents

By Daryl Major
January 11, 2017 - 5:38pm

NANAIMO — A large percentage of people in B.C. are relying on their parents to help them realize the dream of home ownership, according to a new report.

A survey of 150 BC Notaries across the province shows there was a sharp increase in the number of parents helping with down payments. Nanaimo Notary Tiah Workman says in a lot of cases, the money comes in the form of a gift.

"We've got a lot of parents that are providing their kids with some level of support really as an outright gift," said Workman. "Not waiting until money is coming from their estate necessarily but helping them out now while they can see that benefit to them. I can see that really being a trend."

Province-wide, 78 per cent of notaries said their first time buyer clients received money as a gift with no ownership in exchange for the funds provided. Also noteworthy, in 85 per cent of the cases the financial gifts represent 50 per cent of the down payment.

When it comes to first time home buyers on Vancouver Island, Workman says the number of people getting financial help from their parents seems to be on pace with the rest of B.C.

"It's really hard for kids to get into their first home these days," she said. "So we are certainly seeing parents helping out their children quite a bit now. I don't know that I would say that I've seen it ramping up specifically over the last year or two. We're probably on par with the rest of the province."

The notaries' report shows 70 per cent of first time home buyers on Vancouver Island are getting help with their down payment.

According to the report, first time buyer activity remained strong over 2016.

Aside from their parents, first time home buyers in B.C. will soon have a new way to get help with a down payment, via the provincial government. Starting Jan. 16, the province will begin accepting applications for matching loans, up to $37,500.

Those loans will be interest-free and payment-free for five years.

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