RBC Expects Canadian Renovation Slowdown, But Spending Will Still Be Up

    Little Houses on the Prairies Most Likely to Get Makeover

    TORONTO, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - While fewer Canadian home owners are planning to
renovate than in previous years, home improvement spending is on the rise.
This is according to a study by RBC/Ipsos Reid that shows renovation plans are
down almost everywhere in Canada except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
    According to the latest survey, 67 per cent of Canadian home owners say
they are planning to renovate over the next two years. This is down from
70 per cent in 2006 and 76 per cent in 2005. While intentions are down
overall, Canada's would-be renovators anticipate spending more on their
renovations with the average spend moving to $9,850 from $8,982 in 2006 and
$8,834 in 2005.
    "Seventy-five per cent of homeowners in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are
preparing to renovate within the next two years which makes this region of the
country the only area where intentions are on the rise," said Catherine Adams,
vice-president, Home Equity Financing. "Another surprise for us was that
homeowners on the prairies are also the most likely to finance their
renovations by using the equity already built up in their homes."
    The RBC study notes the primary reasons among those who intend to
renovate in the next two years are esthetics (61 per cent), safety/maintenance
(28 per cent), enjoyment (25 per cent), and increasing value (23 per cent).
Bathrooms (35 per cent) and kitchens (29 per cent) remain the most popular of
all renovation projects. These results are consistent with previous years.
    The study also noted a steady decline in the number of homeowners who
have completed renovation projects in the last two years, with the results
going to 61 per cent in 2007 from 65 per cent in 2006 and 70 per cent in 2005.
Among those who renovated in the last two years, two thirds (66 per cent) had
a budget, but nearly half (43 per cent) went over their budget. On average,
those with budgets exceeded their budgets by 74 per cent. As for the biggest
"renovation headaches" the time it took to complete renovations (46 per cent)
and the overall cost (34 per cent) were the undisputed leaders.
    "Whether the reason for starting a project is to make a house more
attractive or to increase its value, renovating is often fraught with
frustration," said Adams. "Once you're at it, it's so easy to keep adding one
more project to the "to do" list, that the next thing you know you're over
budget and behind schedule. The best course of action for lessening renovation
headaches is to expect the unexpected. However, advance planning, a realistic
budget, and investigating more flexible financing options will also help."
    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between August 1 and August 7, 2007. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3853 adult Canadian homeowners. With a
representative sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to
within +/-1.58 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have
been had the entire adult Canadian population 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 2001 Census

    Renovations by the Numbers

    Intentions among Regions                  Average Spend
    ------------------------                  -------------
    BC                      70%                    $ 11,629
    Alberta                 69%                    $ 13,012
    Sask/Man                75%                    $  9,799
    Ontario                 66%                    $ 10,495
    Quebec                  64%                    $  6,861
    Atlantic Canada         67%                    $  7,588

    Those Who Would Consider Borrowing Against Home Equity by Key

    BC                      42%                  Men    45%
    Alberta                 42%                  Women  38%
    Sask/Man                49%
    Ontario                 37%
    Quebec                  45%
    Atlantic Canada         44%

    Renovate or Sell/Move
    Region             Renovate                        Sell
    ------             --------                        ----
    BC                      71%                         25%
    Alberta                 75%                         20%
    Sask/Man                79%                         15%
    Ontario                 72%                         24%
    Quebec                  78%                         15%
    Atlantic Canada         73%                         23%

    Fun Facts

    -   Canadian home renovators are far more likely to get their inspiration
        from big box stores (41 per cent) and TV home improvement shows
        (26 per cent) than from a spouse or partner (one per cent).

    -   Saskatchewan/Manitoba leads the country in hot tub intentions (five
        per cent).

    -   Only three per cent of homeowners who renovated in the last two years
        say they did not have any "renovation headaches".

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Judi Levita, Media Relations,
(416) 974-8810; For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at

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