RBC finds homebuying intentions may cool in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

    But a majority still think now is the time to buy

    WINNIPEG, March 4 /CNW/ - Manitoba and Saskatchewan could see a slowdown
in home purchases this year, according to RBC Royal Bank's 15th Annual
Homeownership Survey. The poll found that only nine per cent of Manitoba and
Saskatchewan residents are "very likely" to buy a home, while those who are
"somewhat likely" to buy fell nine percentage points from last year, to 12 per
    The number of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents who would "buy now"
rather than wait until next year remains strong at 58 per cent, slipping only
one percentage point from last year. In addition, 86 per cent residents from
the two provinces continue to believe buying a house or condominium is a
"good" or "very good" investment.
    "This year, we're seeing some softening in buying intentions in both
Manitoba and Saskatchewan, similar to the rest of the country," said Don
Peard, vice-president, Mortgage Specialists. "But for those planning to buy a
home this year, most won't shy away as people in Manitoba and Saskatchewan
remain confident that buying a home is a sound investment."
    Among those looking to buy within the next two years, 79 per cent said
they will likely purchase a resale home, and 71 per cent said they would be
looking to buy a detached house. A majority (57 per cent) of those polled said
they plan on buying a larger home than their current residence, while only
five per cent said they would be looking for something smaller.
    On average, Manitoba and Saskatchewan homeowners approximate the market
value of their homes to be $168,444, well below the national average of
$239,560. Residents estimate that the average value of homes in the two
provinces has increased by 33 per cent over the last two years - among the
highest percentage increases in the country.
    According to the poll, 14 per cent of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents
who plan to buy a home in the next two years say they will choose a variable
rate mortgage, down two percentage points from last year. While fixed rate
mortgages remain a popular choice with 42 per cent of respondents planning to
lock in their rate, the most popular (44 per cent) mortgage option is a
combination of both fixed and variable.

    Regional Differences             Nat    BC    AB SK/MB    ON    QC    AT
    Own A Home                       64%   64%   65%   73%   67%   51%   74%
    Percentage of Homeowners Who
     Have a Mortgage                 62%   62%   62%   47%   63%   66%   57%
    Owners and Renters Very Likely
     to Purchase a Home in the Next
     Two Years                        7%    7%    8%    9%    7%    7%    5%
    Believe Mortgage Rates Will Be
     Higher in One Year's Time       46%   49%   38%   48%   49%   41%   48%
    Believe Housing Prices Will Be
     Higher in One Year's Time       56%   58%   39%   65%   61%   50%   64%
    Homebuyers Likely to choose a
     Fixed Rate Mortgage on their
     new home                        49%   44%   49%   42%   51%   51%   42%
    Homebuyers Planning to Purchase
     a Detached Home                 70%   62%   68%   71%   70%   74%   75%
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy a
     Bigger Home                     52%   41%   57%   57%   46%   63%   50%
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy
     Resale Home                     76%   85%   75%   79%   77%   65%   83%
    Homebuyers Planning to Buy a
     New Home                        24%   15%   25%   21%   23%   35%   17%

    These are some of the findings of an RBC poll conducted by Ipsos Reid
between January 17 and 21, 2008. The online survey is based on a randomly
selected representative sample of 3,023 adult Canadians. With a sample of this
size, the results are considered accurate to within +/-1.8 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 for residents of
Manitoba/Saskatchewan is +/-6.4 per cent (N=235) and the margin of error for
Manitoba/Saskatchewan homeowners is +/-7.5 per cent (N=173). The margin of
error will be larger for other sub-groupings of the 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
2006 Census data.

    For full tabular results, please see the Ipsos Reid website at

For further information:

For further information: Jackie Braden, RBC, (416) 974-2124; John
Wright, Ipsos Reid, (416) 324-2900

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