Canadians who are looking to buy a home for the first time are getting more discouraged when it comes to affording their down payments, according to a Royal LePage survey.
The results released on Thursday revealed that 67 per cent of first-time homebuyers who purchased a home in the past two years reported that before making a purchase, they were worried about missing out on a home they really desired due to an insufficient down payment. This sentiment was up from 62 per cent in 2021 and 57 per cent in 2019. 
Of the respondents who are looking to purchase a home for the first time in the next two years, 63 per cent said they were worried they will miss out because of an insufficient down payment, up from 60 per cent in 2021.
“That first transaction is the most difficult, and in today’s environment, first-time buyers are faced with large price tags, high carrying costs and the added challenge of qualifying for lending at higher rates due to the stress test,” Phil Soper, president and chief executive officer of Royal LePage, wrote in a news release. 
Concerns about affording a substantial down payment were elevated in some of the country's most populated and sought-after areas, with 74 per cent reporting such worries in the Greater Toronto area, 71 per cent in the Greater Vancouver area and 67 per cent in the Greater Montreal region. 
The most dramatic increase in affordability concerns, however, was in Calgary, where 69 per cent of survey respondents reported fears over their ability to enter into the housing market, up from 42 per cent in 2021. 
A majority of first-time homebuyers reported receiving some form of financial assistance to enter the housing market.
A quarter of respondents said they received financial assistance with their monthly mortgage payments, 35 per cent said they received a lump sum to help with their down payments and 10 per cent said a parent or relative co-signed their mortgage. In total, 39 per cent of respondents said they did not have any financial assistance in buying their first home.
Of the first-time buyers who had financial help to enter the real estate market, 46 per cent said the money was a gift, while 37 per cent of those who said it came in the form of a loan that must be paid back.
“With demand continuing to outpace new supply and renewed upward pressure on home prices, securing a reasonable down payment will remain a significant obstacle for first-time buyers in Canada,” Soper added. 
Methodology: This survey was released by Sagen™ and conducted by Environics Research with a series of questions for Royal LePage. A total of 2,223 interviews were conducted with Canadians aged 25-45 who had either purchased their first home within the prior two years or plan to in the next two years. Online interviewing was completed between February 22 and March 27, 2023.