Majority in B.C. say "Buy now", according to RBC Homeownership Survey



    VANCOUVER, March 6 /CNW/ - Homebuying intentions in British Columbia are
holding steady, according to RBC Royal Bank's 14th Annual Homeownership
Survey. The poll found that 11 per cent of B.C. residents said they are "very
likely" to purchase a home in the next two years, on par with last year and
two points higher than the national average.
    According to the RBC poll, 22 per cent of those looking to purchase a
home in the next two years are likely to do so within the next 12 months, and
B.C. residents are among the most likely in Canada (59 per cent) to say buy
now, rather than wait until next year. Of those who plan to buy in the next
two years, 80 per cent said they will likely purchase a resale home and almost
half (49 per cent) plan on buying a home larger than their current residence.
    "A general expectation of higher housing prices and a concern about
interest rate increases may explain why British Columbians are strongly in
favour of buying over waiting," said Kevin Lutz, regional manager, Mortgage
Specialists, RBC Royal Bank. "Perhaps due in part to the hot housing market of
the past few years, we're also seeing residents of B.C. estimating a higher
average market value of their homes than any other region of the country."
    The poll found that 65 per cent of B.C. residents expect housing prices
will be higher by this time next year and a majority (55 per cent) said they
are concerned about interest rate increases in 2007. Forty-five per cent
stated they expect to see mortgage rates higher in a year's time.
    On average, B.C. homeowners estimate the value of their homes at
$373,489, well above the national average of $227,862. They also estimate that
the value of their home has increased by an average of 35 per cent over the
last two years. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of British
Columbians continue to see great value in homeownership, with 93 per cent
saying that buying a house or condominium is a "good" or "very good"
investment.
    Also according to the poll, British Columbian homeowners are among those
most likely in Canada to have a mortgage on their home (65 per cent). On
average, B.C. mortgage holders have $153,544 outstanding on their mortgages -
the largest average in the country.
    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between January 18 and 22, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 2,404 adult Canadians. With a sample of this
size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-2.0 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian
population been polled. The margin of error for residents of British Columbia
is +/-5.3 per cent (N=342) and the margin of error for British Columbia
homeowners is +/-6.7 per cent (N=215). The margin of error will be larger for
other sub-groupings of the population. 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 2001 Census data.

    
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    RBC 2007 HOMEOWNERSHIP
     SURVEY RESPONSES                 Nat   BC    AB   SK/MB  ON    QC    AT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Own a home                        61%   62%   68%   66%   63%   52%   66%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage of homeowners who
     have a mortgage                  63%   65%   58%   52%   65%   64%   57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who will likely
     choose a fixed rate when they
     next renew their mortgage        54%   58%   59%   69%   53%   42%   66%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are very likely to purchase
     a home in the next two years      9%   11%   12%   10%    9%    6%   10%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe mortgage rates will be
     higher in one year's time        43%   45%   46%   43%   44%   38%   49%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe housing prices will be
     higher in one year's time        59%   65%   68%   63%   62%   47%   58%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who have borrowed
     against the equity in
     their homes                      39%   40%   46%   46%   42%   28%   33%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who have refinanced
     their home in the last
     12 months                        28%   29%   29%   30%   27%   25%   29%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan to buy a bigger home         48%   49%   43%   51%   47%   59%   37%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan to buy resale home           77%   80%   76%   84%   76%   78%   70%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    







For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Lynn Hatcher-Brandt, RBC, (604)
665-4031; John Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900; For full tabular results,
please see the Ipsos Reid website at www.ipsos.ca


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