First-time home buyers say they’re in good financial shape

First-time home buyers and people intending to buy a home in the next two years lead the pack when it comes to financial fitness and confidence, according to a new survey. 
The national survey, conducted by Genworth Financial Mortgage Insurance Company Canada (Genworth Canada) in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), found that 43 per cent of first-time home buyers said they are in good or great financial shape.
The annual poll of 1,533 Canadians  revealed that almost one-third of first-time buyers who purchased a home in the past two years, or future intenders, believe now is a good time to buy, which is up 25 per cent from last year. 
First-time buyers and people intending to buy also lead the pack when it comes to financial planning: 64 per cent said they enjoy planning their financial future and 59 per cent said they managed to save for their down payment within two years or less.
“First-time home buyers are the engine that will drive the housing market in the next few years,”said Brian Hurley, Chairman and CEO of Genworth Canada. “This survey helps us monitor Canadians’ attitudes on finances and homeownership so that we can continue to ... educate home buyers and promote responsible lending practices across the country.”
“It's easier to achieve homeownership when you have healthy personal finance skills,” said Henrietta Ross, CEO of CACCS. “The survey results reaffirm our strong belief that getting your financial house in shape is the first step towards a life of financial fitness and overall well-being.”
Additional survey results:
• The survey found there is an increased awareness among first-time home buyers of the importance of financial responsibility and of the rewards of homeownership.
• Ninety-four per cent said, even though it means more work and effort, they would rather own a home than rent.
• Ninety-four per cent said owning their own home provides a greater sense of emotional well-being and security.
• Sixty per cent said they have a long-term financial plan for retirement that they are working towards.
• Fifty-eight per cent said their goal is to pay off their mortgage as fast as possible, even if it means scrimping and saving and foregoing a lifestyle and activities that their peers enjoy.
• Thirty-six per cent said they were able to pay off all their bills and save money in the past year.
• Seventy-two per cent of homeowners said they expect their financial situation to improve over the next year, whereas only 54 per cent of those who do not own a home said they expect some improvement in their finances within 12 months.