Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners remain keen on home renovations, finds RBC survey

    MANITOBA, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Renovation intentions among homeowners in
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are still strong, but may be starting to weaken,
according to a new poll from RBC. The survey, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found
that the percentage of those who plan to renovate in both provinces within the
next couple of years is down four points from last year, to 71 per cent.
    "Despite a slight decrease, the appetite for home makeovers in Manitoba
and Saskatchewan remains healthy and in line with the national average," says
Richard Schwann, regional vice-president, Career Sales for Manitoba and
Saskatchewan, RBC. "Homeowners here would rather renovate than relocate and
most would absolutely continue with their plans, regardless of any change in
home values."
    Among homeowners who have completed renovation projects in the last two
years, the poll found that 65 per cent of respondents in the region had a
budget for their renovations. In fact, Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents
expect to spend an average of $9,743 on their renovations. Of those, 45 per
cent said they went over budget, by on average 21 per cent. In fact, when
asked about their biggest renovation mistake or disaster, "going over budget"
was the most commonly cited response (21 per cent).
    According to the poll, 75 per cent said that if their homes were in need
of major renovations, they would rather assume the work themselves than sell
and move. Compared with the rest of the country, Manitoba and Saskatchewan
homeowners are the most likely to cite repair and maintenance as among the
primary reasons for planning renovations (46 per cent).
    The most popular choices for renovations and home improvements among
Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners include new floors (37 per cent),
bathrooms (35 per cent), and exterior landscaping (33 per cent). New windows
and doors (32 per cent) and kitchen counter tops (31 per cent) also ranked
among the most likely makeover choices.

    Eco-friendly renovations

    Almost three-quarters of Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners (73 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, 49 per cent would
consider "living off the grid" - living in a self-sufficient manner without
reliance on public utilities, while 63 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 those polled (81 per cent) believe that 'green' home
improvements would increase the value of their home.

    Other facts about how Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners compare to
    other regions in Canada:

    -   Along with Ontario, most likely to have completed a renovation
        project in the last two years (64 per cent)
    -   Most likely to say aesthetics has the largest impact on their
        renovation decisions (34 per cent)

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

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

    Renovate or Sell/Move

    Region          Renovate                      Sell
    Sask/Man             75%                      17%
    BC                   75%                      19%
    Alberta              71%                      23%
    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 298 Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents. With a representative
sample of this size for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 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 adult population of Saskatchewan and Manitoba
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:

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Liz Redston, Media Relations,
(204) 988-3516

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