Many First-Time Buyers Getting Help from Mom and Dad

Fall Real Estate Report

BC Notaries’ Survey Find More than Half of First-Time Buyers Get Help from Mom and Dad



Vancouver, BC—The Society of Notaries Public of BC conducted an internal online survey of members on key real estate topics in November 2015 and found that more than half of Notaries’ first-time home buyer clients are typically getting help with their down payment from parents.

While Notaries don’t formally track whether or not parents contribute, how much or how they structure the funding, of the 133 Notaries who participated 57% said that in their experience first-time buyer clients in their community were typically getting help with their down payment. Another 30% of Notaries said new buyers are typically funding the down payment on their own; and others didn’t know.

Virtually all of those who are getting financial help are receiving it from parents, rather than other family members or friends: about half, 52%, are receiving less than 25% of the down payment; a third are getting 25 to 50%; and 15% are receiving more than half of the down payment from Mom and/or Dad.

The same Notaries reported that almost 70% of parents are gifting the money, 17% are going on title, and 15% make “other” arrangements, which includes private informal or formal loans, a second mortgage or co-signing to guarantee the loan.


“Deciding whether or not you can or should support your child’s purchase of a first home, and how to structure the arrangement is a personal choice for each family,” said Tammy Morin Nakashima, President of BC Notaries and a Notary in Steveston. “There are several things families should consider, including whether or not the lending parents should share in ownership and how everyone should plan for the unfortunate possibility of death or divorce. We help our clients choose an arrangement that’s right for them.”

Notaries provide conveyancing or other legal services on more than half of all real estate transactions in B.C. and are highly trained and experienced in both simple and complex real estate transactions.

Notaries from Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Northern B.C., and the Okanagan, Kamloops and Kootenay regions participated in the survey, which showed that the percentage of first-time buyers typically getting a financial kick-start varied throughout B.C.


Greater Vancouver

In Greater Vancouver, 63 Notaries indicated that half (49%) of their clients typically get a hand up in their first home purchase and 25% buy on their own. Of those who get a help, Mom and Dad fund less than 25% of the down payment for 62% of new buyers; 27% fund 25 to 50%; and 11% fund more than half of the price of the home.

Mom and/or Dad go on title 9% of the time and 77% gift the funds.


Fraser Valley:

Of the 20 Notaries in the Fraser Valley who participated, 75% said their first-time buyer clients typically get help, 20% buy on their own and 5% didn’t know. The amount provided was generally consistent, though, with 56% receiving less than 25% of their down payment; 33% getting help with 25 to 50%; and 11% receiving funds for more than half their down payment.

Notaries observed that for about 68% of clients parents gifted the funds, 17% went on title and 15% made other arrangements.

“Although house prices are considered to be more reasonable here than closer to Vancouver, it is not uncommon to see young families getting help with their first purchase which may be a single-family house rather than a condo or townhouse,” said Scott Simpson, a Notary in Chilliwack with additional offices in Abbotsford and Hope. “There are different considerations for each type of home, and we help all our clients – buyers and sellers – navigate the process thoroughly and successfully.”


Vancouver Island:

Vancouver Island showed similar results with 60% of local Notary clients typically receiving parental support and 25% buying on their own. Notaries are seeing parents funding less than 25% of the down payment for 37% of clients; 44% funding 25 to 50%; and 19% funding more than half of the agreed upon down payment.

Here, 72% were gifting the funds, 7% going on title and 21% made other arrangements.

“We help hundreds of people ensure their home purchases are properly documented and considered every year,” said Morrie Baillie, a Notary in Victoria. “Whether people are buying a home on their own, with a spouse or partner, or with a parent, we help them consider and understand their options so they can make the best decisions for their situation now and in the future.”


About BC Notaries:

The Society of Notaries Public of BC represents more than 340 highly trained Notary professionals. Most have locally owned and operated offices and all provide personal assistance to clients around the province. Individuals, families and businesses seek the services of BC Notaries for a wide range of non-contentious legal matters, including residential and commercial real estate transfers, mortgage refinancing, Wills and advanced healthcare planning, powers of attorney, and other important documents.

The Notary’s Tradition of Trust spans 2000 years. Notaries first came to British Columbia over 100 years ago. They continue to serve their valued clients and their communities across the province. For more information, please visit


Media contact:

Karen Cook


About The Society

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