Ontarians take wait-and-see approach to housing, as purchase intentions drop: RBC Poll

Ontario residents expect higher home prices, steady mortgage rates over the next year

TORONTO, March 26, 2013 /CNW/ - While a majority of Ontarians (86 per cent) do not expect to buy a home in the next two years, almost as many (83 per cent) feel that a home or condo is a good investment, according to the 20th Annual RBC Homeownership Poll.

Given current housing prices and economic conditions, more than half of Ontarians (52 per cent) say it makes more sense to buy now, while 48 per cent prefer to wait until next year. Additionally, more Ontarians (43 per cent) describe the current market as balanced, than think it's a buyer's market (31 per cent). The remaining 26 per cent of Ontario residents described the current market in favour of sellers.

"After a period of historic price and housing demand increases, it seems Ontarians have shifted to a mixed view of the market, which may affect some purchase decisions this year," said Maria Bosnjak, Regional Vice President, Mortgage Specialists. "The good news is that Ontarians have a high degree of confidence about owning real estate and are looking for expert advice to steer them through."

The poll found that almost half of Ontarians surveyed (48 per cent) expect home prices to be higher at this time next year, while nearly one-third (31 per cent) believe house prices will stay the same and one-in-five (21 per cent) think home prices will fall.

Key Ontario highlights:

  • Ontario residents are narrowly divided regarding the path of mortgage interest rates: 49 per cent expect them to be the same as they are today at this time next year, while 46 per cent expect higher rates.
  • Almost three-in-four of Ontarians say that the housing market in their community is overpriced (73 per cent).
  • More than three-in-four Ontario residents believe that recent government changes to mortgages will impact or delay people getting into the market (76 per cent).

Nationallykyn, four-in-10 Canadians (40 per cent) planning to enter the housing market over the next two years will be first-time homebuyers. The majority of Canadians are taking a wait-and-see approach to home purchases, with 15 per cent likely to buy in the next two years, down from 27 per cent last year. The 12-percentage-point drop is the biggest year-over-year fall in overall buying intention as tracked by this annual poll.

Regional highlights for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Quebec and Atlantic Canada are also available.

About RBC's Home Ownership Advice
Canadians can visit the RBC Advice Centre, an online resource to help Canadians understand all facets of homeownership. Through advice videos, articles, and online calculators, Canadians can learn about buying their first home, planning their next move, or renovating. With more than 1,400 RBC mortgage specialists across the country, Canadians have access to free, no-obligation professional advice about RBC mortgage products and services.

About the 20th Annual RBC Home Ownership Poll
RBC is the largest residential mortgage lender in Canada. As the country's number one source of financial advice on homeownership, RBC conducts consumer surveys as one way to provide insight to Canadians about the marketplace in which they live.

These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid between Jan. 31 and Feb. 8, 2013. The online survey is based on a randomly selected representative sample of 3,005 adult Canadians. With a representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. 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 2011 Census data.


For further information:

Mark Hamill, RBC Communications, 416-974-3900
Ka Yan Ng, RBC Corporate Communications, 416-974-1794

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