Home renovation plans soften in B.C. says RBC survey

VANCOUVER, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - An uncertain economy has stalled home renovation intentions in B.C. with 65 per cent of homeowners in the province planning to renovate in the next two years, down from 69 per cent last year, according to a new RBC survey.

For those completing renovations, the survey found a majority (66 per cent) of B.C. renovators plan to take advantage of the federal government's home renovation tax credit this year.

"The economic downturn has affected the housing market in many ways and home renovations are no exception," said Kevin Lutz, manager, Mortgage Specialists for British Columbia, RBC Royal Bank. "B.C. homeowners may have been fuelled by the tax break to complete more of their home improvements this year as opposed to next year."

The RBC study conducted by Ipsos Reid found B.C. homeowners who are planning to renovate are among the most likely to make home improvements for maintenance and repair reasons and are most likely to consider borrowing against the equity they have in their home to finance a renovation.

The average amount that homeowners plan to spend on their renovations is $10,129, no change from last year and one of the lowest among the provinces.

The poll found that 65 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 46 per cent say it will increase their home's value. Two-thirds (66 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.

Renovation Tax Credit

Just over half (52 per cent) of B.C. renovators who plan to take advantage of the federal government's home renovation tax credit have renovated more as a result of the tax break.

Eco-friendly renovations

According to the survey, seven-in-10 renovators in B.C. (71 per cent) plan to include environment friendly home improvements, the highest in the country. A healthy 68 per cent also think green home improvements would increase the value of their home, which is also above the national average.

    Renovation Intentions Among Regions      Average Spend
    -----------------------------------      -------------
    B.C.                65%                        $10129
    Alberta             64%                        $12374
    Sask/Man            73%                        $15133
    Ontario             67%                        $12428
    Quebec              65%                        $ 7734
    Atlantic Canada     72%                        $12586

These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between September 8-16, 2009. The online survey is based on a randomly selected representative sample of 3,120 adult Canadian homeowners including 411 B.C. residents. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within +/- 5.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire B.C. adult population been polled. The sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.

For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at www.ipsos.ca.


For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Christie Smith, Communications, (604) 665-4031

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