RBC Survey finds homebuying intentions stable in the GTA



    A majority believe it makes more sense to buy now rather than wait a year

    TORONTO, March 6 /CNW/ - Homebuying intentions in the Greater Toronto
Area are holding steady, according to RBC Royal Bank's 14th Annual
Homeownership Survey. The poll found that 12 per cent of GTA residents said
they are "very likely" to purchase a home in the next two years, in line with
the 11 per cent witnessed last year and 3 points higher than the national
average.
    According to the poll, given current housing prices and economic
conditions, 59 per cent of GTA residents said it makes more sense to buy a
home now, rather than wait until next year. Among those who intend to buy,
42 per cent plan on buying a home bigger than their current residence, and
72 per cent stated they will buy a resale home.
    "Overall homebuying intentions in the GTA are on par with or higher than
most other regions of the country, but remain fairly consistent with what we
saw last year," said Paul Bimm, vice-president, Builder Markets, RBC Royal
Bank. "Still, a majority of residents are saying now's the time to buy - a
feeling perhaps in part due to a concern of rising housing prices and interest
rates."
    The poll found that 63 per cent of GTA residents expect housing prices
will be higher by this time next year and a majority (52 per cent) said they
are concerned about interest rate increases in 2007. Forty-five per cent said
they expect to see mortgage rates higher in a year's time.
    The RBC poll also found that a majority of GTA residents continue to see
great value in homeownership, with 91 per cent saying that buying a house or
condominium is a "good" or "very good" investment. On average, GTA homeowners
estimate the value of their homes at $316,258. They also believe their homes
have risen in value by an average of 15 per cent over the last two years.
    Among GTA residents, 69 per cent said they have a mortgage on their home
- an increase of 10 points from last year and 6 points higher than the
national average. GTA mortgage holders have an average of $153,650 left to pay
on their mortgages.
    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 representative
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 the GTA is +/-216 (6.7 per cent) and the margin of error for GTA
homeowners is +/-139 (6.3 per cent). 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   GTA   BC    AB   SK/MB  ON    QC    AT
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Own a home                  61%   62%   62%   68%   66%   63%   52%   66%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Percentage of homeowners
     who have a mortgage        63%   69%   65%   58%   52%   65%   64%   57%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who will likely
     choose a fixed rate when
     they next renew their
     mortgage                   54%   46%   58%   59%   69%   53%   42%   66%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are very likely to
     purchase a home in the
     next two years              9%   12%   11%   12%   10%    9%    6%   10%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe mortgage rates
     will be higher in
     one year's time            43%   45%   45%   46%   43%   44%   38%   49%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Believe housing prices
     will be higher in
     one year's time            59%   63%   65%   68%   63%   62%   47%   58%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who have
     borrowed against the
     equity in their homes      39%   40%   40%   46%   46%   42%   28%   33%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Homeowners who have
     refinanced their home
     in the last 12 months      28%   18%   29%   29%   30%   27%   25%   29%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan to buy a bigger home   48%   42%   49%   43%   51%   47%   59%   37%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Plan to buy resale home     77%   72%   80%   76%   84%   76%   78%   70%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    








For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Alexis Mantell, RBC, (416)
974-4796; 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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