‘Mingles’ moving housing markets'

Ben Nelms for National Post

Ben Nelms for National Post

Melissa Yan, with her dog Sam, is one of a growing number of 20-somethings who are no longer waiting until they get married to purchase a home for the first tim

Melissa Yan wondered why she had to wait until she got married to buy a home.

She decided she didn’t. So the 28-year-old, who works in marketing for Magnum Projects, opted to jump into Vancouver’s hot housing market at Christmas in 2010.

She picked up a 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown district in a design that would fit her needs and a price tag that would allow her to enter the market and establish equity so that one day she could get an even bigger house.

“I have always known I had wanted to own, so I made it a priority for myself to put aside money for the past five years,” says Ms. Yan, who was living with family as she saved. “It’s a home, it’s an investment — a bit of both.”

Ms. Yan, who says her work in real estate convinced her she needed to buy, is one of a growing number of 20-somethings who are no longer waiting until they get married to purchase a home for the first time. She is part of a trend that adds an extra stage to the housing market.

Traditionally, people bought their first property upon marriage, looked for a move-up when their families got larger, scaled down as the kids moved out and then were off to the retirement home.

But the new reality is that more first-time buyers fit Ms. Yan’s profile.

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