Home renovation intentions hold steady in British Columbia, finds RBC survey

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - More than two-thirds (69 per cent) of British
Columbia homeowners plan to renovate or make home improvements sometime within
the next two years, down just one per cent from last year. The new survey,
conducted by Ipsos Reid, shows that more than half (55 per cent) plan to begin
renovations within the next twelve months.
    "Despite the cooling economy, homeowners in B.C. are carrying on with
their plans to undertake renovations and home improvements," said Kevin Lutz,
manager, Mortgage Specialists for British Columbia, RBC Royal Bank. "It's also
very encouraging to see that B.C. homeowners are showing such a strong
interest for renovation options that reduce their homes' carbon footprint."
    The average amount that homeowners plan to spend on their renovations is
$10,064 down from last year's average spend of $11,629. Compared with the rest
of the country, B.C. homeowners were most likely to pay for all or most of
their renovations with cash or savings (74 per cent).
    According to the survey, 71 per cent of those who plan renovations during
the next two years are doing so because it will increase the attractiveness of
their homes, while 42 per cent say it will increase their home's value.
Three-quarters (75 per cent) of those polled said that if their homes were in
need of major renovations, they would rather assume the work themselves than
sell and move.
    The most popular choices for renovations and home improvements among
British Columbians include new floors (37 per cent), bathrooms (39 per cent),
and exterior landscaping (36 per cent). Kitchen counter tops (35 per cent) and
decks and patios (29 per cent) also ranked among the most likely makeover

    Eco-friendly renovations

    Three-quarters of British Columbia homeowners (75 per cent) would choose
an environmentally-friendly approach if it would save money in the long run,
even if it costs more now. Of those polled, 56 per cent would consider "living
off the grid" - living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on public
utilities, while 69 per cent would consider becoming a 'net zero' household,
enabling their homes to produce at least as much energy as they use. The
majority of British Columbians (73 per cent) believe that 'green' home
improvements would increase the value of their home.

    Other facts about how BC homeowners compare to other regions in Canada:

    -   Most likely to cite choosing the wrong products (16%) or doing the
        job themselves (17%) as their biggest past renovation mistakes
    -   Among the most likely (69%), to have a budget for their renovations,
        just behind Quebec (70%).

    Intentions among Regions                       Average Spend
    ------------------------                       -------------

    BC                   69%                       $10,064
    Alberta              74%                       $12,422
    Sask/Man             71%                       $ 9,743
    Ontario              71%                       $12,306
    Quebec               67%                       $ 8,463
    Atlantic Canada      73%                       $10,042

    Renovate or Sell/Move

    Region          Renovate                       Sell
    BC                   75%                       19%
    Alberta              71%                       23%
    Sask/Man             75%                       17%
    Ontario              75%                       19%
    Quebec               74%                       17%
    Atlantic Canada      78%                       15%

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between August 13 and August 18, 2008. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected representative sample of 3,733 adult Canadian homeowners,
including 458 British Columbians. With a representative sample of this size
for British Columbia, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 4.6
percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the
entire adult population of British Columbia 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 2006 Census
    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: Media Contact: John Groves, Media Relations,
(604) 668-2651

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