Atlantic Canadians show increased enthusiasm for home makeovers, finds RBC survey



    HALIFAX, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Home renovation intentions in Atlantic Canada
are up slightly from last year according to a new survey from RBC. The poll,
conducted by Ipsos Reid, found 73 per cent of Atlantic Canadians plan to
renovate in the next two years - an increase of six percentage points from
last year.
    The RBC survey found that Atlantic Canadians plan to spend an average of
$10,042 on their renovations, up significantly from $7,588 in 2007 but in line
with the national average of $10,802. Among those who had a budget, more than
half of homeowners (54 per cent) from the region are also the most likely to
say their past renovations went over budget, exceeding it, on average, by 20
per cent.
    "We continue to see a healthy appetite for home renovations in Atlantic
Canada," said Craig Bannon, regional manager, mortgage specialists, RBC Royal
Bank. "While it is clear homeowners from the region remain committed to
maintaining and improving their homes, it's important to be realistic about
the costs and look for the best financing options to ensure their projects
remain within budget."
    The most popular choices for renovations and home improvements among
Atlantic Canadians include bathrooms (41 per cent), new floors (41 per cent),
and exterior landscaping (37 per cent). Decks and patios (33 per cent) and new
windows or doors (33 per cent) also placed high in the rankings.
    When compared to homeowners in other regions, the poll found that
Atlantic Canadians are the most likely (78 per cent) to say they would
renovate their current home rather than sell it, even if their home was in
need of major work.

    Eco-friendly renovations

    More than three-quarters of Atlantic Canada homeowners (80 per cent)
would choose an environmentally-friendly approach if it would save money in
the long run, even if it costs more now. Of those polled, 56 per cent would
consider "living off the grid" - living in a self-sufficient manner without
reliance on public utilities, while 66 per cent would consider becoming a 'net
zero' household, enabling their homes to produce at least as much energy as
they use. The majority of Atlantic Canadians (78 per cent) believe that
'green' home improvements would increase the value of their home.

    
    Other facts about how Atlantic Canadian homeowners compare to other
    regions in Canada:

    -   Most likely to plan renovations or home improvements in the next year
        (61 per cent)
    -   Most likely to say increasing energy efficiency is among the
        primary reasons for planning their renovations (37 per cent)
    -   Most likely to say using the wrong contractor or tradesperson was
        their biggest renovation mistake or disaster (16 per cent)
    -   Most likely to use credit cards to fund the portion of their
        renovations not being funded with cash or savings

    Renovation Intentions among Regions           Average Spend
    -----------------------------------           -------------

    Atlantic Canada                 73%           $10,042
    BC                              69%           $10,064
    Alberta                         74%           $12,422
    Sask/Man                        71%           $ 9,743
    Ontario                         71%           $12,306
    Quebec                          67%           $ 8,463

    Renovate or Sell/Move
    ---------------------

    Region                     Renovate           Sell
    Atlantic Canada                 78%           15%
    BC                              75%           19%
    Alberta                         71%           23%
    Sask/Man                        75%           17%
    Ontario                         75%           19%
    Quebec                          74%           17%
    

    These are some of the findings of an RBC Royal Bank poll conducted by
Ipsos Reid between August 13 and 18, 2008. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 3,733 Canadian
homeowners, including 315 Atlantic Canadians With a representative sample of
this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-5.5 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
Canadian population of Atlantic Canada had been polled. These data were
statistically weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/sex composition
reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2006 Census
data.
    For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at
www.ipsos.ca.
    Downloadable graphics also available at www.rbc.com/newsroom.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Lori Smith, (902) 421-8121


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