Fewer Atlantic Canadian homes to undergo makeovers as renovation intentions level off, RBC survey

    HALIFAX, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - Atlantic homeowners aren't planning as many
renovations as in previous years. This is according to a new survey from RBC
and Ipsos Reid which shows intentions are down considerably from last year.
    According to the survey, 67 per cent of homeowners in Atlantic Canada
expect to renovate or make home improvements within the next two years, a
decline of 13 per cent from 2006. The average expected spend of $7,587 is down
from $10,195 in 2006, but it is still substantially more than the 2005
estimated average spend of $3,230.
    Just over half (56 per cent) of the region's homeowners plan to renovate
within the next 12 months and homeowners expect to spend an average amount of
$7,588. Bathrooms (41 per cent), outdoor decks (33 per cent) and basements
(31 per cent) are the most likely targets for makeovers.
    "I think we can still expect to see a flurry of renovation activity
across the Atlantic Provinces," said Wendi Bacon, regional vice-president,
Atlantic Canada. "Whether the reason for renovating is about basic maintenance
or increasing resale value, homeowners who are planning renovations should
plan ahead and consider all the costs involved before undertaking a new

    As for how Atlantic Canadians compare to homeowners in other regions:

    -   Most likely to add on or refinance their existing mortgage to pay for
        renovations (28% of those who don't pay entirely in cash and savings)
    -   Most likely to indicate they are renovating to increase the value of
        their home (30%)
    -   Most likely to have completed a renovation in the past two years
    -   Most likely, along with Alberta and Sask/Man to choose an
        environmentally friendly renovation approach if it saved money in the
        long run (80%)
    -   Most likely to choose an environmentally friendly approach even if it
        costs more money upfront and does not save money in the long run
    -   Most likely to be influenced by their children (67%), their
        neighbours (39%), the government (59%), an environmentalist (50%),
        and an employee at a home improvement store (46%) on matters of
        environmentally-friendly renovations

    Intentions among Regions                      Average Spend
    ------------------------                      -------------
    BC                        70%                       $11,629
    Alberta                   69%                       $13,012
    Sask/Man                  75%                       $ 9,799
    Ontario                   66%                       $10,495
    Quebec                    64%                       $ 6,861
    Atlantic Canada           67%                       $ 7,588

    Those Who Would Consider Borrowing Against Home Equity by Key
    BC                        42%
    Alberta                   42%
    Sask/Man                  49%
    Ontario                   37%
    Quebec                    45%
    Atlantic Canada           44%

    Renovate or Sell/Move
    Region                    Renovate               Sell
    ------                    --------               ----
    BC                        71%                     25%
    Alberta                   75%                     20%
    Sask/Man                  79%                     15%
    Ontario                   72%                     24%
    Quebec                    78%                     15%
    Atlantic Canada           73%                     23%

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between August 1st and August 7, 2007. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected representative sample of 3853 adult Canadian homeowners,
including 342 Atlantic Canadians. With a representative sample of this size
for Atlantic Canada, the results are considered accurate to within
+/-5.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had
the entire adult population been polled. 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.

    For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at

    Downloadable graphics also available at www.rbc.com/newsroom.

For further information:

For further information: Lori Smith, (902) 421-8121

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