Home renovation intentions trend upward in Ontario, finds RBC survey



    TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Ontario homeowners are showing more enthusiasm
for home renovations, according to a new RBC survey. The poll, conducted by
Ipsos Reid, found that 71 per cent of Ontarians surveyed plan to renovate
within the next two years, just above the national average of 70 per cent and
up five percentage points from 2007. Of those polled, 75 per cent said that if
their homes were in need of major renovations, they would still rather assume
the work themselves, than sell and move.
    "Despite the current economic uncertainty, we can expect to see a
moderate increase in renovation activity in Ontario over the next couple
years," says Catherine Adams, vice-president, Home Equity Financing. "For
those making renovation plans, it's important to carefully consider all the
potential costs involved, obtain quotes, look for the best financing options
and set a realistic budget that you'll be able to stick to."
    Among homeowners who have completed renovation projects in the last two
years, the poll found that 67 per cent of respondents in Ontario had a budget
for their renovations. Of those, 46 per cent said they went over budget, by an
average of 25 per cent. In fact, Ontarians were more likely than homeowners in
other regions to say going over budget was their biggest renovation mistake or
disaster (28 per cent). Despite budget overages, the majority of Ontarians
(72 per cent) are likely to pay for most or all of their renovations with cash
or savings.
    The average amount that Ontario homeowners plan to spend on their
renovations is also up over last year from $10,489 to $12,306 - well above the
national average of $10,853 and just shy of Alberta ($12,420) which has the
largest average budget spend in the country.
    The most popular choices for renovations and home improvements among
Ontarians include new floors (42 per cent), bathrooms (40 per cent), and
exterior landscaping (36 per cent). Kitchen counter tops (30 per cent) and
decks and patios (26 per cent) were also among the most likely makeover
choices.

    Eco-friendly renovations

    More than three-quarters of Ontario homeowners (78 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 67 per cent of Ontario homeowners would consider becoming
'net zero' household, enabling their homes to produce at least as much energy
as they use. The majority of Ontarians (78 per cent) believe that 'green'
improvements would increase the value of their home.

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

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

    Region                   Renovate                Sell
    Ontario                  75%                     19%
    BC                       75%                     19%
    Alberta                  71%                     23%
    Sask/Man                 75%                     17%
    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 1,423 Ontario residents. With a representative sample of this size
for Ontario, the results are considered accurate to within 2.6 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
population of Ontario 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: Jackie Braden, Media Relations,
(416) 974-2124


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