RBC survey finds Quebecers remain among least likely in Canada to purchase a home



    MONTREAL, March 6 /CNW/ - Buying intentions among Quebecers remain the
lowest in the country, according to RBC Royal Bank's 14th Annual Homeownership
Survey. The poll found that 20 per cent of Quebec residents said they are
likely to purchase a home in the next two years, well below the national level
of 28 per cent. The proportion "very likely" to purchase is down one point
from last year (6 per cent vs. 7 per cent), and is also below the national
average of 9 per cent.
    In fact, Quebecers (51 per cent) are most likely to say it makes more
sense to wait until next year to buy a home, rather than purchase one now.
According to the poll, of those who plan to buy in the next two years, 59 per
cent said they are likely to buy a bigger home, while 24 per cent will be
looking for something around the same size as their current residence.
Seventy-eight per cent of those planning to buy will opt for a resale home.
    "Similar to what we saw last year, buying intentions remain comparatively
low in Quebec and they continue to show signs of softening," said Danielle
Coutlée, manager, Sales Strategy & Support. "Unlike other areas in the
country, Quebecers don't seem to be as certain that housing prices will rise,
and they are less concerned about interest rate hikes this year."
    The poll found that at 47 per cent, Quebecers are the least likely in
Canada to expect housing prices to be higher by this time next year -
significantly lower than the national average of 59 per cent. Quebecers were
also the least likely (46 per cent) to say they are concerned about interest
rate increases in 2007. Thirty-eight per cent said they expect to see mortgage
rates higher in a year's time - again, the lowest percentage in the country.
    While a majority of the region's residents continue to see great value in
homeownership (87 per cent said buying a house or condominium is a "good" or
"very good" investment) they are the least likely across the country to think
so. On average, Quebec homeowners estimate the value of their homes at
$155,328. They also believe their homes have risen in value by an average of
19 per cent over the last two years.
    Also according to the poll, 64 per cent of Quebecers have a mortgage,
second only to Ontarians and British Columbians (both at 65 per cent). On
average, Quebec mortgage holders said they have $70,849 outstanding 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 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 Quebec is +/-3.9
per cent (N=627) and the margin of error for Quebec homeowners is +/-5.4 per
cent (N=334). 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 full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at
www.ipsos.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Raymond Chouinard, RBC, (514)
874-6556; John Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900


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