Home Buyers and Renovators Willing to Spend on Green Upgrades, Says TD Canada Trust Poll



    
    -   Three in four home buyers willing to pay a premium for a home that
        includes environmentally friendly features
    -   Most cite future energy cost savings (67%) and improved resale value
        (59%) as reasons to invest in a home with these features
    -   Half of homeowners considering renovations say reducing their home's
        environmental impact is very important
    

    TORONTO, Nov. 21 /CNW/ - Not only is the environment a top-of mind issue
for many Canadian homeowners, but the majority are also willing to ante up a
higher purchase price in support of their beliefs.
    The TD Canada Trust Green Building Poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid to
examine Canadians' views on environmentally friendly housing, found that 73%
of Canadian homeowners or those considering buying a home would be willing to
pay a premium for environmentally friendly features. Among those considering a
purchase in the next two years, this propensity increases to 85%. When asked
how much more they would be willing to pay, the average response was 10%.
    "Over the last few years, we've seen an increased awareness of
environmental building features among Canadian homeowners and prospective
buyers," says Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Real Estate Secured Lending at
TD Canada Trust. "But until recently, many homeowners were not willing to pay
extra for green features. That seems to be changing as Canadians are realizing
the multiple benefits of green buildings and retrofits."
    When asked why they would consider choosing environmentally friendly
features in their homes, two-thirds of respondents (67%) say that future
energy cost savings are very important. Another 59% cite improved resale
values as very important.
    The connection between green features and resale value is also strongly
emerging as a selling feature in the realty industry. Among Canadian
homeowners or potential buyers who have dealt with a real estate agent in the
past two years, four-in-ten (40%) say the agent highlighted environmentally
friendly features as a selling point.
    While energy cost savings and increased resale value are the strongest
drivers for buyers seeking environmentally friendly features, almost one half
(49%) of Canadian homeowners say reducing their home's impact on the
environment is very important to them. Another 43% say it is somewhat
important. Among those willing to pay a premium, 37% say they would do so to
reduce their environmental impact or reduce greenhouse gases.
    "Canadians clearly see the long-term cost savings in green buildings,"
continues Dal Bianco. "But increasingly, they are moving beyond economics and
going green for the sake of the environment. With those two factors as
motivators, they are more likely to make green decisions."
    The poll findings also indicate that Canadians are turning their
intentions into action with respect to their homes. Twenty-nine percent of
respondents say they have already made significant improvements and another
one-third say they are likely to do so in the next 12 months (15% very likely,
18% somewhat likely). Three quarters (76%) of Canadian homeowners say they
would consider conducting an environmental assessment prior to finalizing
renovation plans (34% said they are very likely).
    When asked about regulations, the vast majority (95%) of Canadian
homeowners or potential homebuyers agreed that environmentally friendly
changes should be included in building codes for new buildings and renovations
(86%). Incentives are also popular, with four-fifths (81%) agreeing that the
government should provide subsidies to individuals who choose to buy or build
certified green or environmentally friendly homes from builders.
    However, fewer are in favour of penalizing those who do not choose to
live in environmentally friendly homes. Less than half (48%) agree that
regular building materials should be more expensive than environmentally
friendly building materials and only 36% agree that a carbon tax should be
levied on property owners whose homes are not environmentally friendly.
    "We're seeing an alignment of the stars here," concludes Dal Bianco. "As
buyers, builders, contractors and realtors all start to move in the same
direction, I think we'll be seeing more environmentally friendly homes become
the norm. In the end, it's a win-win for homeowners and the world around us."

    About TD Bank Financial Group

    The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as
TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group serves more than 14 million
customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key
financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking
including TD Canada Trust; Wealth Management including TD Waterhouse and an
investment in TD Ameritrade; Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities; and
U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking through TD Banknorth. TD Bank Financial
Group also ranks among the world's leading on-line financial services firms,
with more than 4.5 million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had
CDN$385.8 billion in assets, as of July 31, 2006. The Toronto-Dominion Bank
trades on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges under the symbol "TD".





For further information:

For further information: Stephen Ledgley, NATIONAL Public Relations,
sledgley@national.ca, (416) 848-1376


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