RBC survey finds Atlantic Canadians least likely to purchase homes in the next two years

    But overwhelming majority say owning a home is a good investment

    HALIFAX, March 4 /CNW/ - While Atlantic Canadians are the least likely of
all Canadians (19 per cent) to purchase a home over the next two years, they
are the most likely (90 per cent) to see buying a home as a good investment,
according to RBC's 15th Annual Homeownership Survey.
    The poll found that homebuying intentions in the region have slipped six
per cent from 2007, when 25 per cent of residents in Atlantic Canada stated
they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to purchase a home. Also falling
this year, the percentage of those who said they would "buy now" rather than
wait until next year, dropped to 62 per cent from 68 per cent.
    "Much like other parts of the country where purchase intentions are
cooling, we could see a slip in homebuying this year on the East coast," said
Craig Bannon, regional manager, Mortgage Development. "Still, with an
overwhelming majority saying that purchasing a home is a sound investment,
Atlantic Canadians feel strongly about the long-term value that homeownership
can provide."
    Among those looking to buy within the next two years, 83 per cent said
they will likely purchase a resale home, up 13 per cent from last year.
Seventy-five per cent said they would be looking to buy a detached house and
50 per cent of those polled said they plan on buying a larger home than their
current residence.
    On average, Atlantic Canada homeowners approximate the market value of
their homes at $136,806, well below the national average of $239,560 but up
from last year's average of $122,378. Homeowners estimate that the average
value of their homes has increased by 11 per cent over the last two years.
    According to the poll, 15 per cent of Atlantic Canadians who plan to buy
a home in the next two years say they will choose a variable rate mortgage, up
three percentage point 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 mortgage option is a combination of both fixed and variable
(43 per cent).

    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 Atlantic Canada
is +/-6.6 per cent (N=224) and the margin of error for Atlantic Canadian
homeowners is +/-7.6 per cent (N=165). 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: Lori Smith, RBC, (902) 421-8121

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