RBC Survey finds homebuying intentions cooling in the GTA



    TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - According to RBC Royal Bank's 15th Annual
Homeownership Survey, the Greater Toronto Area could see a slowdown in home
purchases this year. The poll found that 26 per cent of GTA residents said
they are either "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to buy a home over the next
two years, which is down from 36 per cent in 2007.
    The number of GTA residents who would "buy now" rather than wait until
next year has also slipped, falling five percentage points from last year to
54 per cent. Also the vast majority (91 per cent) of residents from the GTA
continue to believe buying a house or condominium is a "good" or "very good"
investment.
    "We expect to see some softening in homebuying this year in the GTA,
which is consistent with what we're seeing in Ontario as a whole," said Kathy
Ellis, sales manager, Builder Development. "This might be a result of the
run-up in home prices in the region and concerns about the economic
environment; however, it has not deterred too many prospective homebuyers from
their plans to buy in 2008."
    Among those looking to buy within the next two years, 78 per cent said
they will likely purchase a resale home, while 64 per cent said they will be
looking to buy a detached house and 23 per cent planning to purchase a
condominium or loft. A majority (60 per cent) of those polled said they plan
on buying a larger home than their current residence, while 24 per cent said
they would be looking for something smaller.
    On average, GTA homeowners approximate the market value of their homes at
$328,217, well above the national average of $239,560. Residents estimate that
the average value of their home has increased by 16 per cent over the last two
years.
    According to the poll, 15 per cent of GTA residents who plan to buy a
home in the next two years say they will choose a variable rate mortgage.
Fixed rate mortgages remain the most popular choice with 50 per cent of
respondents planning to lock in their rate. Thirty-five per cent said they
would choose a combination of both fixed and variable.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regional Differences       GTA   Nat    BC    AB SK/MB    ON    QC    AT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Own A Home                 70%   64%   64%   65%   73%   67%   51%   74%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage of Homeowners
     Who Have a Mortgage       66%   62%   62%   62%   47%   63%   66%   57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Owners and Renters Very
     Likely to Purchase a
     Home in the Next Two
     Years                     10%    7%    7%    8%    9%    7%    7%    5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe Mortgage Rates
     Will Be Higher in One
     Year's Time               45%   46%   49%   38%   48%   49%   41%   48%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe Housing Prices
     Will Be Higher in One
     Year's Time               60%   56%   58%   39%   65%   61%   50%   64%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Likely to
     choose a Fixed Rate
     Mortgage on their new
     home                      50%   49%   44%   49%   42%   51%   51%   42%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to
     Purchase a Detached
     Home                      64%   70%   62%   68%   71%   70%   74%   75%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to
     Buy a Bigger Home         60%   52%   41%   57%   57%   46%   63%   50%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to
     Buy Resale Home           78%   76%   85%   75%   79%   77%   65%   83%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to
     Buy a New Home            22%   24%   15%   25%   21%   23%   35%   17%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between January 17 and 21, 2008. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3,023 adult Canadians. With a representative
sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-1.8
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 the GTA is +/-6.2 per cent (n = 248) and the margin of error for
GTA homeowners is +/-7.5 per cent (n = 172). 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 2006 Census
data.

    For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at
www.ipsos.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Alexis Mantell, RBC, (416) 974-4796; John
Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900


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