First-time home-buyers displaying good judgment, says Genworth Canada study

Toronto, ON (Apr. 8, 2013) – According to a national survey conducted by Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada, first-time homebuyers are adjusting to the new mortgage requirements and making informed choices about homeownership.

The annual poll, completed in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), asked 1,514 Canadians questions about their financial well-being and preparedness. The 2013 survey revealed that there was a significant rise in the number of recent first-time buyers who say they put down more than 20% on their homes (56% vs. 36% in the 2012 survey). In fact, the number of people that said it is getting harder to save for that down payment is on the decline (50% vs. 55% in 2012) with more first-time buyers finding it easier to save money (9%, up from 5% in 2012). In addition, only 17 per cent of respondents thought it was a good time to buy, suggesting that low interest rates alone are not enough to entice Canadians to purchase a home.

“Canadians entering the real estate market are making financially astute choices by saving longer and putting down larger deposits on their homes,” said Brian Hurley , Chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada. “They continue to value homeownership and are being responsible about the way they enter into mortgage debt. This trend bodes well for a soft-landing of the housing market.”

Among first-time homebuyers, the proportion saving for less than two years has decreased by nearly 30%, while the proportion saving for more than five years rose by more than 50%. This appears to indicate that fewer first-time homebuyers feel a sense of urgency about entering the real estate market, which is consistent with the fact that fewer expect house prices to rise in the next twelve months.

“There is still a strong need for Canadians to have a better grasp on their financial situation,” said Henrietta Ross , CEO of CACCS. “More than 40% don’t think their credit rating reflects them or don’t know what their credit rating is. Counselling could help ensure they are financially prepared to enter and maintain substantial investments, such as homeownership.”

The interviews were conducted by Environics Research Group using an online methodology during the week of February 11-19, 2013.

David MacDonald, Vice President at Environics Research Group, will be presenting the results of the survey at Genworth Canada’s Homeownership Education Week seminar for mortgage industry professionals April 9. MacDonald will be joined by Henrietta Ross , CEO of CACCS, Stuart Levings , COO of Genworth Canada, and Phil Soper of Royal LePage in a panel discussion following the presentation of the survey results. To register for the live webcast of the seminar or find out more about Homeownership Education Week visit

About Genworth Canada

Genworth MI Canada Inc. through its subsidiary, Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada, is the largest private residential mortgage insurer in Canada. The Company provides mortgage default insurance to Canadian residential mortgage lenders, making homeownership more accessible to first-time homebuyers. Genworth Canada differentiates itself through superior customer service, a robust risk management framework and innovative processing technology. For almost two decades, Genworth Canada has supported the housing market by providing thought leadership and a focus on the safety and soundness of the mortgage finance system. As at December 31, 2012, Genworth Canada had $5.7 billion total assets and $3.0 billion shareholders’ equity. Find out more at

About Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services

The CACCS represents a Canada-wide network of accredited, not-for-profit agencies and affiliates offering preventative education and confidential services to clients experiencing financial difficulties. With a focus on financial counselling education, accreditation of agencies and certification of Financial Counsellors, CACCS is also committed to national research and policy initiatives concerning personal finance and industry advocacy.

To find a certified Credit Counsellor and qualified Financial Coach at an accredited Member Agency, call the CACCS central referral service at 1-800-263-0260 or visit for more information.

SOURCE: Genworth Canada