Survey shows deep emotional attachment to homeownership

The housing market may have experienced some ups and downs this year, but the spirits of potential first-time homebuyers across Canada remain strong, according to a new survey. 

Eighty-four per cent of the 2,521 people surveyed in the Genworth Financial Canada’s First-Time Homebuyers’s Monitor said that owning a home goes beyond its financial value and they feel that homeownership pays off in more ways than one.

“The survey results show Canadians have a deep emotional attachment to homeownership," said Peter Vukanovich, president of Genworth Financial Canada.

“Most people closely associate financial security and emotional well-being with homeownership,” he added. “That’s particularly true among first-time home buyers.”

WinnipegREALTORS® president Deborah Goodfellow said she has on numerous occasions witnessed first-hand  the enthusiasm shown for homeownership by first-time buyers during her earlier career as a mortgage lender, and now as a REALTOR®.

“They show a great pride in homeownership,” she said. “It’s something new and exciting.

“Their home is their first real tangible investment and it makes first-time buyers feel they finally have an asset that provides stability.”

The study measured both the financial and psychological factors of homeownership, providing the following insights into the link between homeownership and personal fulfillment:

•  Eighty-four per cent agree with the statement, “Owning a home provides a greater sense of emotional well-being and security.”

• Eighty-five per cent believe that even though homeownership may mean more work and effort, they would rather own than rent.

• Eighty-eight per cent said they would feel more financially secure owning their  own home.

• Eighty per cent said owning a home makes them feel more personally fulfilled.

“Even in today’s economy, people are living and striving for the dream of homeownership,” said Dr. Michael Haan, professor of social policy at the University of Alberta, in response to the survey results.

Dr. Haan said the emotional attachment placed in the concept of home is a personal decision, whether owning or renting, but the survey results show “homeownership carries with it a much stronger feeling of personal attachment.”