Home renovations in Quebec may increase moderately, finds RBC survey

    MONTREAL, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Home renovation intentions in Quebec have risen
slightly, according to a new RBC survey. The poll found that 67 per cent of
Quebec homeowners plan to renovate their home sometime during the next two
years - a slender increase from 64 per cent in 2007 and 66 per cent in 2006.
    On average, Quebecers plan to spend $8,463 per household on their
renovations, the lowest average in the country. While they remain the most
likely (70 per cent) to have had a budget for previous renovations when
compared to other regions across the country, Quebecers were among the least
likely (46 per cent) to report going over budget when their renovations were
    "With the majority in Quebec planning to renovate, it's important to
think carefully and realistically about the project's cost," said
Danielle Coutlee, manager, Sales Strategy and Support, Quebec, RBC Royal Bank.
"It's great to see that many Quebecers clearly understand the importance of
setting a budget for their home makeovers and staying within it."
    Would-be renovators in Quebec plan to make bathroom and kitchen
renovations a priority - 58 per cent and 54 per cent respectively. Twenty-six
per cent plan to put an addition on their home, while 31 per cent will
consider landscaping their property. In terms of home improvement renovations,
53 per cent said they expect to paint, while 29 per cent said they intend to
restore flooring.
    The majority (54 per cent) of Quebec homeowners planning to renovate are
doing so to make their homes more attractive, while 32 per cent say it is to
increase the value of their home and 36 per cent say their renovations are for
regular maintenance or repairs. Sixty-six per cent of Quebecers plan to pay
for renovations all or mostly with cash or savings, and 24 per cent would
consider borrowing against home equity.

    Eco-friendly renovations

    Almost three-quarters of Quebec homeowners (72 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, 30 per cent would consider "living off
the grid" - living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on public
utilities, while 62 per cent of Quebec homeowners would consider becoming a
'net zero' household, enabling their homes to produce at least as much energy
as they use. The majority of Quebecers (73 per cent) believe that 'green' home
improvements would increase the value of their home.

    Other facts about how Quebec homeowners compared to other regions in

    -   Least likely to plan renovations or home improvements in the next
        year (53 per cent)
    -   Least likely (along with BC) to have completed renovations over the
        past two years (61 per cent)

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

    Renovate or Sell/Move

    Region                   Renovate                Sell
    Quebec                   74%                     17%
    BC                       75%                     19%
    Alberta                  71%                     23%
    Sask/Man                 75%                     17%
    Ontario                  75%                     19%
    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 920 Quebecers. With a representative sample of this size for Quebec,
the results are considered accurate to within +/-3.2 percentage points,
19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult
population of Quebec 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 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: Media Contact: Raymond Chouinard, Media
Relations, (514) 874-6556

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