RBC Survey finds homebuying intentions slipping in Ontario



    TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - According to RBC Royal Bank's 15th Annual
Homeownership Survey, homebuying intentions in Ontario appear to be cooling.
The poll found that seven per cent of Ontarians said they are "very likely" to
buy a home, down two per cent from 2007; while those who said they are
"somewhat likely" to buy fell from 21 per cent to 14 per cent.
    The number of Ontario residents who would "buy now" rather than wait
until next year has also slipped, falling 5 percentage points from last year,
but remains strong at 57 per cent. While dipping slightly from last year, a
majority of Ontarians (88 per cent) continue to believe buying a house or
condominium is a "good" or "very good" investment.
    "We expect to see some softening in homebuying in Ontario this year,
which may be attributed in part, to a rise in home prices and concerns about
the economic environment," said Kathy Ellis, sales manager, Builder
Development. "But that hasn't deterred many prospective Ontario homebuyers
from purchasing in 2008, and an overwhelming majority of Ontarians continue to
see good investment potential in owning a home."
    Among those looking to buy within the next two years, 77 per cent said
they will likely purchase a resale home, and 70 per cent said they would be
looking to buy a detached house. Forty-six per cent of those polled said they
plan on buying a larger home than their current residence, while 25 per cent
said they would be looking for something smaller.
    On average, Ontario homeowners approximate the market value of their
homes at $242,262, in line with the national average of $239,560. Homeowners
estimate that the average value of their homes has increased by 16 per cent
over the last two years.
    According to the poll, 15 per cent of Ontario residents who plan to buy a
home in the next two years say they will choose a variable rate mortgage, down
a percentage point from last year. Fixed rate mortgages remain the preferred
choice with 51 per cent of respondents saying they plan to lock in their rate.
Thirty-four per cent said they plan to choose a combination of both fixed and
variable.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regional Differences             Nat    BC    AB SK/MB    ON    QC    AT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Own A Home                       64%   64%   65%   73%   67%   51%   74%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage of Homeowners Who
     Have a Mortgage                 62%   62%   62%   47%   63%   66%   57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Owners and Renters Very Likely
     to Purchase a Home in the Next
     Two Years                        7%    7%    8%    9%    7%    7%    5%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe Mortgage Rates Will Be
     Higher in One Year's Time       46%   49%   38%   48%   49%   41%   48%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe Housing Prices Will Be
     Higher in One Year's Time       56%   58%   39%   65%   61%   50%   64%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Likely to choose a
     Fixed Rate Mortgage on their
     new home                        49%   44%   49%   42%   51%   51%   42%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to Purchase
     a Detached Home                 70%   62%   68%   71%   70%   74%   75%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy a
     Bigger Home                     52%   41%   57%   57%   46%   63%   50%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy
     Resale Home                     76%   85%   75%   79%   77%   65%   83%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy a
     New Home                        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 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 Ontario is +/-3.0
per cent (N=1,099) and the margin of error for Ontario homeowners is +/-3.5
per cent (N=775). 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: Dano Spooner, RBC, (416) 974-0347; John Wright,
Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900


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