Despite cooling economy, Albertans still hot for renovations, says RBC survey



    CALGARY, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - The cooling economy doesn't appear to have
deterred Albertans from planning renovations on their homes. A new survey,
conducted by Ipsos Reid, finds that almost three quarters (74 per cent) of
Alberta residents plan to make improvements on their homes within the next two
years.
    In fact, renovation intentions among Albertans are the highest in Canada,
up five percentage points from last year. Intentions to renovate in the next
12 months are also among the highest in the nation, at 58 per cent. The survey
also found that with an average renovation budget of $12,422 per household,
Albertans plan to spend more on their home renovations than homeowners in any
other region of the country.
    "Once again this year, Alberta has the highest percentage of renovators
in the country," said Don Peard, vice-president, Mortgage Specialists, RBC
Royal Bank. "Despite an economic softening, Albertan homeowners remain ever
keen on pulling out their hammers, paint brushes and spades to get their home
makeovers underway."
    In fact, according to the poll, 71 per cent said that if their homes were
in need of major renovations, they would rather assume the work themselves
than sell and move. Seventy-one per cent of Alberta homeowners said a primary
reason for renovating is to make their homes more attractive, the highest
percentage in the country, along with B.C.
    The most popular choices for renovations and home improvements among
Albertans include exterior landscaping (44 per cent), new floors (37 per
cent), and decks and patios (35 per cent). Bathrooms (34 per cent) and new
windows and doors (27 per cent) also ranked among the most likely makeover
choices.

    Eco-friendly renovations

    More than three-quarters of Alberta 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, 66 per cent would consider "living
off the grid" - living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on public
utilities, while 71 per cent of Alberta homeowners would consider becoming a
'net zero' household, enabling their homes to produce at least as much energy
as they use. The majority of Albertans (75 per cent) believe that 'green' home
improvements would increase the value of their home.

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

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

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

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between August 13 and August 18, 2008. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected representative sample of 3,733 adult Canadian homeowners,
including 319 Albertans. With a representative sample of this size for
Alberta, 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
population of Alberta 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: Jo-Ann Fraser, Media Relations,
(403) 292-3372


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